Federico Balducci and Francisco Javier Sanfuentes Release Collaborative Masterpiece
Rocking back and forth ever so slightly to a gentle rhythm that will never become much more than a driving force for the tension in the air around us, “Muro III (I’m Not Good Enough)” is one of the more conventionally constructed tracks on El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable, the new album from Federico Balducci and Francisco Javier Sanfuentes, but hardly a step away from the creative trajectory of the other songs here. Like every other stitch of material on El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable, “Muro III” offers us what amounts to a chapter in a long-form story told specifically through tonality and texture the same, but on its own, it’s more than enough to get us interested in what these two experimental powerhouse players are doing right now.
Textural potency never becomes a problem in this tracklist, but instead comes to define everything from the ethereally hazing “2+1” to the more droning “Muro VII (I’m Not Organized),” grim “Muro IV (I Don’t Want to Embarrass Myself),” and later Earth-reminiscent “Muro VI (People Will Judge Me).” There’s so much physicality to be unearthed in any given song that it would be easy to devote an entire afternoon just to appreciating the content here, not to mention the delicate manner in which it’s been stacked together for the listeners.
Instruments form a slew of marshy melodies in the likes of “Muro VIII (I’m Not Qualified),” “Detras Del Muro,” and sharply suffocating “Muro II (I Don’t Deserve It or I’m Not Worthy),” but even when atonality is the primary weapon in hand for Balducci and Sanfuentes, they make a point of distinguishing the finer lines in their arrangement. Muddiness is never a barrier separating artists from the audience in this set of ten performances, but instead, something manipulated into melodic wizardry, the likes of which most players just don’t have the capacity to utilize with any real success these days (save for these two, that is).
The latter half of El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable has more of a freeform foundation than the former does, but at no point does any of this material translate as being anything other than artfully designed to hold our attention from start to finish. From the whispered words of “Muro II” to the opening ominousness of “Muro I (The Goal Feels Impossible)” and the industrial alternative rocker “2+2,” there are progressive qualities to this disc you just aren’t going to evade, no matter how many spins it’s afforded. Balducci and Sanfuentes made a beast here, and that’s indisputable from all angles.
El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable is a masterpiece for ambient fans everywhere this summer, and if you haven’t already sat down with its ten tenacious new tracks, this June might be the perfect occasion on which to do so. Federico Balducci has received a little more buzz in the underground than his collaborator has, but with the skillsets they both sport and use to complement one another, I don’t know that either one of them will be able to walk away from this release without a generous helping of positive publicity and adulation from listeners all the way around.