(Con-V)

This is one of those sonic sculptors whom I’ve always felt as totally honest even if he moves in a musical jungle where getting trapped by the quicksand of banality is fairly easy. To have an idea of Paul’s efforts to avoid such deplorable methods (which usually go “buy me the latest synthesizer, change a wave shape in the 01 preset, supplement with heavy reverberation, burn 100 CDRs and sell them”), just think that I realized about the exclusive use of guitars in his first records only after the man himself told me. They were more or less unidentifiable to my ears, the ones of a guitarist…That should tell a lot (OK, who whispered “about you”?). In recent times, Bradley has added field recordings and different sources to the music yet the beauty of these presentations remains intact, “Somatic” fully reinforcing the theory. The basis for this long track, roughly divided into three movements, are environmental elements from Spain and Turkey, voice, other instruments and various manipulated objects. Bradley processed the main origins fusing the results in his customary brew of resonant drones and entrancing aural depictions, this time reinforced and complemented by those “extraneous” interferences from the real life that do nothing but add a touch of vividness to an already beguiling soundscape. Particular relevance must be attributed to the third and final section where, from a mournful female chant, a gorgeous state of stupor based on a harmonically suspended chord takes shape to wrap our crumbling security in the cocoon of an apparent comfortableness, which fizzles out as soon as the record’s over. One of the very best releases in this English artist’s prolific career.

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