Ricardo Donoso – Saravá Exu

Saravá Exu is the latest album from electronic composer Ricardo Donoso. Despite a sizeable back catalogue this is the first release I’ve heard from the Brazilian musician, but with engaging music like this I’ll certainly be delving back through the rest. Bristling with energy, the album sweeps it’s way through dark unsettling moods, with brief moments of brightness, taking cues from ambient, drone, electronic and industrial music.

It’s more one long track than an album in seven pieces, but Crepusculum starts the album off with static electronic noise and dark, unsettling percussion, while ambient pads and dark drones drift in and out, giving a closed off, creepy vibe. It’s an ever evolving album however, and like the parting of clouds, the dark percussion stops for moments of ambient bliss, brighter rhythms and melodies emerging before the static builds up midway through Vesperum, returning to more of the unsettling thunderclouds, like war in the heavens with turbulent bass drones and eerie electronics. The pacing is brilliant, not just simply moving clumsily from light to dark, but subtly evolving, whether from industrial noise, to a dub nightmare followed by lush pads and colourful noise your way in Conticinium, or bristling with dark energy like the soundtrack to a tense film in Gallicinium. It’s a completely unpredictable and dark journey with brief moments of light respite from a claustrophobic creepy listen. Recommended for any fans of dark electronic music.

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