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CD Feature/ :papercutz: "Ultravioleta Remixes"

img  Tobias

It is a strange rule that, as a musician, you can benefit from never being content. Bruno Miguel’s music, for one, has certainly profited from this mentality: Over time, Carefully compiled demos have sublimated into internationally distributed releases. His :papercutz project has developed from a solo endeavour into a fully-fledged band at the border between the acoustic and the electronic. The inspirational essence of a plethora of tracks scattered about on myriads of online compilations has condensed into a highly anticipated, tastefully packaged physical album, soon to be published on quickly growing label Apegenine. Tentative songwriting tendencies have crystallised into a both mature and playful style, brimming with the simple pleasures of pure Pop and resounding with the melancholic madrugadal energies of his homebase Portugal. And not even once has he stood still to catch his breath and enjoy the view.

Only days before aforementioned debut “Lylac” hits stores, one of the trophy tracks off that full-length – bundled with a string of high-profile remixes - offers a first impression of what is to come: At a mere five minutes and riding on the resonances of a relaxed and warmly grooving rhythm, “Ultravioleta” at first seems like the bittersweet aftermath of the 90s chillout boom. That impression, however, is quickly dispelled by its sonic intricacies and mysterious erotic insinuations: Melissa Veras’ eveningsun-tanned vocals wash against the shores of Miguel’s stutter-streaming electro-steps, clattering percussion, nervous subsonic bass impulses and naïve-complex harmonic language, creating a confounding melodic pull from a wondrous musical well, bulging out with ideas and unrestrained experimental pleasure.

At times, “Ultravioleta” seems about to collapse under the weight of its superimposed creative arch. But somehow, Miguel and Veras have managed to turn the seeming contradiction between the slender and outwardly fragile fabric of their piece and its curiously wayward arrangement into a hypnotic advantage. After a colourful breakdown, the music grows darker, denser and deeper, finally dissolving into a dancing dream, shimmering rainbow-like at the edge of the horizon. Even though the association may be misleading in terms of genre, their method is similar to the experimental excursions of 70s Rock: Starting with strict structures, fixed forms are gradually decomposed and systematically taken apart until they have organically changed into something completely different. However far its instigators stray from the source, however, “Ultravioleta” amazingly never sheds its disarming Southern charmes.

Four remixes in turn manage to stay true to the music’s personality, while simultaneously taking it to new shores: The Sight Below sets his mellow teeth into the atmospheric bliss lurking underneath the surface, stretching string textures into delicate drones and weaving a woozy web of mantric breathings and yearning sonic sighs. Riz Maslen’s minimal mix of subtle, figment-like, stumbling guitar contortions, oneiric wah wah and almost primitive drum machine dabbers grows more claustrophobic and nightmarish with each bar, while Matt Southall’s Spandex-treatment translates “Ultravioleta”’s upbeat energy into a feathery slab of sympathetic techno.

Maybe the closing Signer remix, though, as idiosyncratic as it may be, comes closest to the :papercutz philosophy: Elements are deformed, blown up into grotesque proportions or cooled down to a whisper, as the piece floats through a mesmerising apocalyptic wasteland. Southall obviously loved the original, or else he would not have licensed this haunting vision to the EP. But his dauntless script forces the music down an uncompromising funnel, guiding it well beyond its initial visions. Just like Bruno Miguel, his will to never stay content has prevented him from imminent standstill and creative failure – and transformed this release from merely constituting a delicious foretaste of the upcoming full-length into an attractive and ambitious work in its own right.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: :papercutz
Homepage: :papercutz at mySpace
Homepage: Apegenine Records

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