Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Fragments of a Season – Album Review by Killian Laher
Genre-hopping artist Alexis Georgopoulos has teamed up with ambient artist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma to produce a chill-out masterclass in clean guitar, notwithstanding the John Cale-channelling album title. Not the first time these two have teamed up, opening track The Letter glides in on light percussion, heavy bass and shimmering electric guitar right out of Vini Reilly’s songbook. This track, like many others here, evokes lazy relaxed evenings, or late-night strolls in the small hours. While the album leans heavily on guitar, Madagascar opens with piano before, very gradually the guitar takes centrestage.
Downtempo atmospherics are very much the order of the day here on tracks like Cleo, Mirror The Clouds and Fragrance, as chilly guitar notes glide across the frets. The Marble Sky is the most upbeat thing here, with a prominent, steady beat evoking The Durutti Column’s Sketch for Dawn I, and would probably be the natural entry point for the uninitiated. It ends with the ghostly-sounding Vanishing Point, and true to its title, it ends with a wash of keyboards, fading gradually to nothing.
The music here just oozes gently out of the speakers, practically beckoning time to stand still, while at the same time, soaring on tracks like Lost Summer. On the downside? Some tracks are too short to get a proper chance to develop (Marine, The Seventeenth Century), though they are enjoyable in themselves. Also the album so closely emulates Vini Reilly’s guitar style it borders on pastiche. Certainly, this album is a tribute to The Durutti Column man, and if the listener makes the connection, there’s a wealth of material to discover there.
1. The Letter
5. The Seventeenth Century
6. The Marble Sky
7. Mirror the Clouds
8. Lost Summer
10. The Streets Are Filled With Rain
11. Vanishing Point
The Marble Sky