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Ricardo Remédio - Natureza Morta [Dissociated Records - 2016]

Ricardo Remédio is a musician who is known for his work with doom metal bands, most notably his own band Lobo.  He has also worked with several electronic artists in his native Portugal. Natureza Morta is his first solo outing and represents something wildly different to his usual brand of heavy metal. The album was released earlier in October by Dissociated Records.

Natureza Morta is an album of enjoyable dark electronica. The first thing you notice when you start listening to it is the heavy bassline of opening track Banquete. It pounds throughout giving the track its focus. Banquete is a great opener somewhat reminiscent of horror electronic pioneers Demdike Stare at their most upbeat. The track grinds along a dark, twisted route and towards the end even reminds of the electronic score to Stranger Things. Following track Ossos keeps it heavy with some great synth lines, again reminiscent of bands like Demdike Stare, Burial Hex or Haxan Cloak, however the overall track doesn’t reach the same level of quality as Banquete and it is quickly forgotten.

Third track Garça is very different. It is a pretty, ambient piece owing more to the lush synth lines of Orbital or The Orb. It is however very short and serves merely to whet the appetite for one of the albums finest tracks.

Caça seems at first to follow in a similar vein to Garça, however the introduction of a drum beat about a minute and half in signals a change as the track shifts into something more akin to the work of Fabio Frizzi. This is much more in what I would call horror movie soundtrack territory. By the time we get to the midpoint of what is a 10 minute track, it reminds me more and more of the very Carpenteresque Umberto, the heavy synth lines are back but the reliance on horror tropes remain. This is a very good track and you can’t help but feel that this is the direction Remédio will take on future releases.

Suor Noturno takes us back into familiar territory. Reminiscent of the driving electronica of the opening two tracks. This track is pleasant enough and whilst it doesn’t do anything wrong it doesn’t quite reach the heady heights of Banquete.

Up next is Vigilia which is a different type of track. Backed with distorted synth drones it takes us in a different direction to previous tracks and uses some vocal samples to add an extra layer to the mix. Drawing influence from the likes of drone metal legends Sunn O))) this makes for an interesting change in direction, however at only 3 minutes long it feels as though it’s just getting started as it ends. I would have liked to see where this track could go if given the chance to head into spacey jam territory.

Next track Efermo again sees Remédio mining that rich seam of heavy drone normally reserved for Sunn O))), however this time he mixes those drones with something more beat driven and we’re suddenly back in Demdike Stare territory. This is another decent if unremarkable track.

Final track Rei Morto, Rei Posto again returns to the heavy synth sounds inspired by John Carpenter and Umberto with a dark and twisted edge to it. At eight minutes this is one of the longer tracks on the album and one of my personal favourites. This is good dark, heavy electronica played as it should be.

Overall the album shows a great deal of promise for a debut, Remedio shows signs that he could well go on to create John Carpenteresque electronic horror movie scores. The standout tracks Banquete, Caça and Rei Morto, Rei Posto are very good horror inspired electronica and remind me of the work of legends like Demdike Stare and Umberto.  Occasionally Remedio even draws influence from the Boards of Canada and Sunn O))). One or two of the other tracks feel a little samey but are still enjoyable enough. A good debut and I hope to see much more from Remédio in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Darren Charles
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