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CD Feature/ Cria Cuervos: "Leitfossilien"

img  Tobias

Back on the release day of this album, Mystery Sea was already “the ECM of ghostly ambient sounds”, but not quite yet the household name it has turned into by now, with many of its strictly limited releases selling out quickly and with most fans of drone-related music almost buying on a subscription base. Which could be why “Leitfossilien” is currently still available and may have been “a bit overlooked” as label boss Daniel puts it. At a time when Eugenio Maggi is stepping up the pace with a couple of new solo releases as well as a slot as one of the artists on the formidable “Desert Space” compilation, it is indeed a good moment to take a new perspective on his Cria Cuervos project and this unusual work.

Not just unusual, it has turned out quite remarkable indeed, for several reasons as well. First of all, the typical wideness and spatial feel are noticeably absent, the sound sources perfectly abstract with the exception of the occasional morphed cymbal pad and a field recording of wind and bubbling noises which enters the action at times. Then there is the simultaneity of shortness and length, the disc consisting of a single track spanning thirty-three minutes. Within this compact vastness lie both recognisable elelements and even certain leitmotives (possibly a hint at the album’s title, which was furthermore inspired by a morbid poem penned by Maggi himself), as well as stretches of almost complete silence and subcutaneous events, when the music hasn’t come to a complete standstill, but moves almost without sound on soft dark slippers. The aforementioned poem also mentions” our late night reunion, your lulling me to sleep." and without doubt “Leitfossilien” is at least partially about the state between waking and (perchance) dreaming, the mind fading into near-oblivion and the void, before surfacing into a drowsy slumber and short clearness, only to lapse back into physical reality again. The deeper end of the sonic spectrum is of minor importance here, keeping the tension simmering all the time, as long-drawn sighs and faint streaks of light colour a white canvas against a fog-clad horizon. There seems to be a touch of eastern philosophy at work, with each tone being awarded equal importance, each new note waiting patiently until the former has died down. It is a constant transformation of the same elements Cria Cuervos is staging here and the greatest achievment is that he makes these cycles seem different each time around.

Maybe the outward softness and inner fidgetiness of “Leitfossilien” were too subtle at first to make this an instant success. Now both Mystery Sea and Eugenio Maggi have gone on to establish themselves as noteworthy factors on the scene, there may well be a chance of more listeners trying this on despite their initial reservations. And that would be a great way for this record to receive the appreciation it deserves.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Cria Cuervos
Homepage: Cria Cuervos at MySpace
Homepage: Mystery Sea Records

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