Savath & Savalas
Apropa’t (Warp Records WARPCD115, 2004)
Reading the pre-release reviews for this disc it seems like I’m the only
person in the world who’s never heard of Scott Herren or his work as Prefuse 73.
Not so long ago, Guillermo Scott Herren upped his Atlanta roots and decamped to
Barcelona, Spain’s north-eastern melting pot port and home to some of the
hippest music currently circling the globe. Teaming up with local
vocalist/songwriter, Eva Puyuelo Muns, he decided to carry on his Savath &
Savalas project, which began back in 1999. Almost all of the music here is
performed & penned by the pair, with a little help from some additional bass,
drums, trumpet & flugelhorn and guest vocal on ‘Sigue tu camino (No sabes amar….)’,
featuring Azita Youssefi.
The music is a series of gentle soundscapes supporting Muns’ almost vaporous
vocal style, droplets of Castilian and Catalan spill onto the music in an almost
inconsequential way and it takes some time to find the timbre of this almost
beatless release. Even when drums & bass are in the mix, such as on ‘Último Tren’,
the feel is almost static, the music soft and enveloping, womb-like, reflecting
the cover photos of typically shady room interiors from one of the city’s older
quarters…Raval perhaps? Not minimal enough to be called ambient, too light for
jazz and definitely not lounge, the music here worms its way into your
consciousness, sinuously creating a quiet storm. A grower reaping rich rewards
from play to play.