M.Armani :: Construindo Sombras (Luscinia)

Each of Construindo Sombras’ eight pieces unwinds so gracefully and cling to one another in such close kinship, they seem carefully, purposefully composed.

Marcelo Armani is a Brazilian drummer and woodwind player whose third solo album is a collection of comely chamber music built in the shadow of Brian Eno. That may sound a far-fetched, but heard with a certain tilt of the head, the pieces sound like palmy, woody renditions of the instrumental tracks on Another Green World. More specifically, because of the drumming, novel variations of the track “Sombre Reptiles.”

But of course it is much more than that. An autodidact just like Eno, Armani commands a broad arsenal of instruments, from clarinet and accordion to electronic loopers and samplers, and is deeply involved with improvisers throughout South America, two of whom join him on separate tracks. Construindo Sombras is said to have its genesis in experiment and improvisation, but each of its eight pieces unwinds so gracefully and cling to one another in such close kinship, they seem carefully, purposefully composed. Each is its own atmosphere, establishing its “there” in the first few seconds of play, after which it wafts and spread out, a small galaxy revolving around a firm, bright centre.

Though a solo album, there are many others present on Construindo Sombras, not just the two guest sidemen, but a plethora of voices, speaking Spanish and Portuguese in subway stations and crowded busses, from the supplications of the very first piece, “Voces del subterráneo,” to the inflated imperatives of “E depois de manhanã, ainda segue sendo o mesmo de ontem” featuring fragments of Brazilian and Bolivian politicians shouting their platitudes. That title translates roughly as “Tomorrow will still be the same as yesterday.” As playful as it is sophisticated, Construindo Sombras is quite unlike any other album.

Construindo Sombras is available on Luscinia.

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