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Leonardo Rosado: Opaque Glitter

img  Tobias Fischer

Opaque Glitter, the new album by Portugal-based electronic musician and composer Leonardo Rosado, is truly a product of collaboration. Rosado compiled 90 minutes of compositions and improvisations built on atmospheric synth drones, field recordings, and ambient washes. After posting the music on his Tumblr site, he invited his fans to vote on eight tracks (approximately forty minutes) that would comprise the album. Each musical piece was paired with poetry and photographs and offered cheaply as a physical product through Rosado’s Feedback Loop label and or as a “pay what you want” download on his Bandcamp page.

The music itself is a hazy, atmospheric set of works that slowly morphs through textural and timbral changes. Samples of running water, tapped glasses, wind, and creaking pieces of metal offer a shimmering backdrop for swelling synth tones and irregular beats made of vinyl crackles. Strikes of marimba punctuate low-end rumbles and heartbeat-like bass drum kicks. In “Soft like leaves falling,” Rosado colors sustained synth notes with the sound of someone raking leaves. “Amidst the crowd a love story” layers a recording of someone putting away dishes over pensive nylon-string musings and a lush backdrop of keyboard sounds. In “For a moment there,” low-end bass pulses, droning sitar, and mallet percussion swell around the sounds of doors closing and pouring water.

While Opaque Glitter falls within the realm of “ambient” music, there’s an emotive restlessness that keeps the music from ever slipping into the background.Much of the music is marked by an eerie and surreal quality. Haunting dissonances and unsettling drones disturb beds of soothing synths. Unidentifiable found sounds crackle and crunch uncomfortably and arrhythmically. In “It ends here,” for instance, distant keyboard figures twist uneasily over rattling paper and pulsing dissonances, creating a dark atmosphere that wouldn’t be out of place in a Kubrick or Lynch film.

Throughout, Leonardo Rosado manages to create a sonic atmosphere simultaneously intimate and cinematic. The field recordings, often pushed to the foreground of the music, conjure images of creaking attics and rattling water pipes while the synth backdrops recall the haunting vacancy of outer space. The result is a surreal and occasionally unnerving listen both human and otherworldly.

By Hannis Brown

Homepage: Leonardo Rosado
Homepage: FeedbackLoop Recordings

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