Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – “On The Echoing Green” (2017) review
A drum kit softly thumps into awareness. Quivering synths weave together lo-fi tapestries, and you begin to wonder whether your dreaming or stuck inside the most graceful quantum computer. With an empyrean shower of emotion, ‘The Faun’ demonstrates just how well Cantu-Ledesma combines jagged electronica with the familiar potency of a simple keyboard.
As we slide into the halfway point of the album, ‘Tenderness’ has little qualm berating us with its shoegaze-y sway, but it couldn’t be more welcome. Lackadaisical vocals creeps over a parading army of riffs. You see all the reason to slump into your chair, but can’t help smiling in languid bliss. At this point it feels only natural to take a breath and look out the window. What do you see? Sunshine? Wet pavement? The juxtaposition couldn’t be juicier.
These cathartic bouts seem divided by somewhat atonal interludes. Tracks like ‘In a Copse,’ ‘Echoing Green,’ and ‘Vulgar Latin’ string together varieties of clamor with waves of tranquil consonance. You feel your breath return. A soothing aside to recollect the pieces.
The trip continues with ‘Dancers At the Spring,’ a 6-minute long plummet into a cavern of harmonic delays. While Cantu-Ledesma powers on with his oscillating arsenal of plucked guitar strings, a looped percussion timidly carries the momentum. Beginning with a sense of brazen hope, you feel a cloak of light envelope your senses. You hover. A steadfast juvenescence fills your lungs. But as the last notes trail off, so does this vague sea of hospitality.
Finally, ‘Door To Night’ pours water on your face and slaps you into the new day. The mangled ambience of a grassy field and chirping birds crowd the mic. It’s morning. Stumbling to your feet you remember everything as a precious stream of melody. Confrontation dissolves into apathy, and apathy dissolves into crystalline equanimity. A battery of rushed collages momentarily butts heads with an internal composure, but everything is ok. You have reached the other side. The hypnotic rattle of clipping synths greets you with open arms.