First things: I would have preferred fewer vocal drops on Mestesis’ Her Place On Earth. It’s just a personal preference. I don’t mind the device, but it’s easy to overdo—and this album comes pretty close to crossing that line. With that out of the way, I’ve been enjoying the narrative, cinematic nature of Mariano Sinestesia’s work, which the composer describes as his “abrasive, ambient and cinematic side.” The seven songs here blend bits of laid-back lounge, airy jazz, and ambient washes in pretty much equal measure. “Your Dreams Are Your Destiny” is my favorite piece on the release, a snappy pairing of a glitchy beat and a dramatic, melodic piano line played out in thick chords, augmented with string pads.”Her Brainwaves” takes us in the other direction, out toward space music with layers of shiny sequencer work and accompanying pads. It’s a more directly uptempo piece, and gets more so later in the track, which really hooks me in. “Her Voice” heads down a minimalist path, with crickets, keening voices, and dark strings. A great atmospheric piece. But it’s the dependency on the vocal drops that keeps getting in the way for me. “This Is You” comes in with the kind of bubble and bounce that reminds me of Ray Lynch, then plops some spoken-word on top of it, which adds nothing for me. I find it gets in the way of the piece’s energy and brightness. Same goes for “Warmth It’s OK”—lovely as the poetry may be, it brings little to the piece. When it moves out of the way and Sinestesia brings in crossing ambient pads with more of that galactic glimmer, the piece opens up. And I’m sure that whatever kid at the end of “Riding An Elephant” is saying for almost a minute and a half is charming if you speak the language, but I just want to say, shhhh….
I like a lot of what I hear on Her Place On Earth. The compositions are lovely, and truly engaging. Sinestesia knows his way around a melody, and the production work is well-made and deep. It’s just that I am too frequently taken out of my reverie by the drops. A few are fine. This many, for me, just serves to impede the ride. Very much worth a listen.
Available from Beatlounge Records.