Memories From A Cold Place
Psychic Equalizer and Hugo Selles
2012 / Psychic Equalizer
Review by Kathy Parsons
Memories From A Cold Place is the debut album by Psychic Equalizer. Founded in Spain in 2011 by Hugo Selles, Psychic Equalizer plans to release themed recordings that will each focus on a general idea. This one was inspired by Selles’ homeland of Cantabria. A mix of jazz, ambient, and electronic music, the piano is always the main instrument. The seven tracks are varied, although the album maintains a fairly even tempo and consistent mood throughout. A bit on the dark and mysterious side, Memories From A Cold Place is a very promising first effort.
The album begins with “Noviembre (Part 1),” a mostly piano piece backed by electric bass and atmospheric sounds that set the somber tone of the music. At under two minutes, it is something of a prelude. “Endino” is a bit lighter, with guitars, rhythm, and keyboards painting a picture of a place that is both peaceful and vibrant. “My Little Shadow Died,” a short vignette, is very open and painfully sad. Much of the piece is the sound of birds chirping, but the actual music is minimal yet deeply emotional. “While You Were There But Not Here” conveys deep longing and a powerful sense of loneliness. Piano and keyboards evoke poignant feelings of emptiness and loss - I love this track! “The Path In the Woods” increases the intensity with a strong, edgy rhythm and a mysterious keyboard melody - very visual and intriguing. At almost nine minutes, “Noviembre (Parts 2 and 3)” is by far the longest track on the album. Keyboards give color and atmosphere to the ambient and floating piano. Very spare yet very compelling, this piece would be great in a film soundtrack! As it evolves, it gradually becomes bigger and more dramatic, softens to almost a whisper, and then builds and gradually fades out - very effective! The closing track, “Endino (Rainy Days Remix),” is quite different from Track 2. There seem to be more layers of sound (children laughing, electronic chirps, percussion, more instrumentation, choir, and often distorted piano sounds) and this version is two minutes longer, ending this impressive debut on an upswing.
Memories From A Cold Place is available from Amazon and iTunes. Check it out!
February 25, 2013