PAUL BRADLEY – Mas Memorias Extranjeras

(Alluvial)

Presenting the second version of an album released about a year before would seem to be a wrong artistic choice. Furthermore, to add mystery to the puzzle, the first edition of “Mas memorias extranjeras” came out with the same cover of its predecessor, a move that could have been losing from a commercial point of view (I myself had thought about an error after opening the promo packet, and from what’s found on the label’s website the sleeve is now different – well done). Then you listen to the music, and – voila – this is one of the best Bradley records of the last years, in my opinion better than the previous episode. As it happened there, PB meshed his trademark dissonant-yet-caressing drones with location sources captured in the Valencia area (Spain). The difference lies in a more organic amalgam of the components: this time, voices and noises from the streets were somehow treated differently by the composer, who processed them in a way that almost results as ghostly, definitely incorporeal (except maybe the final section, where a marching band appears amidst the local clamour). The feel of mental absence, of suspension of the physical functions, is here rather evident. It all amounts to an outing that lovers of both drone-based soundscapes and static electronica-cum-field recordings should not leave unattended. Paul Bradley is one of the few artists in this zone who managed to create a personal style, soberness and introspection at the basis of the sense of achievement that his releases consistently guarantee.

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