Oscar Izquierdo has been making music since 1991 but it wasn’t until 2008 that maremagnum was conceived.His first release back in 2008 was called Works and was a compilation of different tracks he had at the time. His recently released sophomore effort Microclima is a conceptual EP that is more unified and seamlessly transitions between tracks. Izquierdo creates exceptional compositions on Microclima, which bears similarities to artists such as Jon Hopkins, Isolée, and Manual.
Combining organic and electronic elements Izquierdo utilizes a vast array of sounds. He often combines lush atmospheres with intricate fast percussive elements that create a sense of the songs feeling both fast and slow at the same time. This may be best executed on “Two Sides Of The Same Concept.” The guitar lines float along with pads of warmth that create a slow relaxing vibe while the percussive is frantic and sounds like something Aphex Twin may have written. The polarizing aspects create an exceptional listening experience.
The album starts with “Strongly Recommended” which has heavy hip-hop inspired drum beat that Kieran Hebden from Four Tet might borrow on his next record. As the song progresses Izquierdo excels at combining distorted blankets of white noise from guitars while panning arpeggiated synths become the focal point of the song. For being only a little over three minutes the song covers a lot of ground and shows what Izquierdo is capable of.
“Lifevest” takes a rather simple guitar riff that holds together a whirlwind of ever changing noises and patterns. He builds sounds up, layers then down and then tears them apart. At no time could you ever accuse him of being lazy. The song becomes very powerful towards the end as he delivers waves of sound that feel both nostalgic and triumphant.
The album closes with “Over The Radar” which is the most emotionally loaded song on the album. The guitar patterns are serene while the pads reminded me of what you might imagine Aurora Borealis would sound like.
Overall, Microclima is a very substantial and satisfying EP that displays Izquierdo is an excellent composer who you should get to know.
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