Donoso uses his knowledge and skills to bend, stretch and twist the rules. He thinks outside of the box, and reflects it clearly once again with Machine to Machine.
Boston-based Brazilian-born composer, percussionist and electronic musician, Ricardo Donoso, returns with a new album on Germany’s multifaceted Denovali imprint. Pulsating techno pyrotechnics, celestial ambient, contemporary classical tendencies, all wrapped in a peculiar experimental aura. The ten tracks demonstrate Donoso’s ability to create complex yet accessible and addictive music. He studied composition at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory, and the experiences in those establishments have certainly benefited him, just as the involvement in many different projects over the years has.
Donoso uses his knowledge and skills to bend, stretch and twist the rules. He thinks outside of the box, and reflects it clearly once again with Machine to Machine. Throughout, he generates suspenseful, gripping development and drama without the use of clichés. Cerebral yet emotionally charged compositions morph constantly and effortlessly. They move and strike in a tribal-trance-inducing manner, perhaps a testimony for their creator’s percussionist blood. Dripping arpeggio patterns swirl hypnotically, luminous pads expand and contract, beats pound relentlessly, strange noises crumble, hit, crash and sparkle. Much like Donoso’s previous efforts—in particular Assimilating the Shadow and As Iron Sharpens Iron, One Verse Sharpens Another—this music is about structure, precision, interaction, texture and shape. It’s about tension and electricity, and the alluring space between the sounds.
Machine to Machine is a clever, multilayered, dynamic and highly detailed mechanism, operating vigorously in perfect mind-boosting harmony. A roller coaster, beautifully designed, futuristic, cinematic, most certainly a ride every adventurous electronic music consumer has to experience. In some parts dark and menacing, in other parts light, airy and majestic, it stings and caresses, stirs and relaxes. It rewards repeat listens, especially via a good pair of headphones. One of the year’s finest electronic experiments.