Album Review: Jordi Clapés-Bot - "Right Sides"

Review by Mario Gautreau

From the first notes tingling on the piano, the listener knows he/she is about to be a passenger on an eerily beautiful adventure. "Right Sides" is the first album from Spanish do-it-all Jordi Clapés-Bot, who composed, played, recorded and produced this 5-track EP that clocks in at over 40 minutes. While track lengths might be long, that doesn't mean things get drawn out; on the contrary, the layers constantly change with a tickle trunk of instrumentation and a serenity that hints at evenings at the writing desk or the piano bench. While the music warps and crescendos, the timber continually morphs and the textures weave together a sort of tapestry of atmospheres that would make strong contenders for gripping cinematographic scenes. This is definitely best listened to with a good pair of headphones.

The lead-off title track goes from sad to pleasant to mental instability, always leaning on the piano to bring the sense around the corner. "Geometrical Views" blends the soliloquy of a melodica with Mogwai-esque accompaniment along with a slightly saturated amount of phaser effect, while "Rocks" starts with a heavy tic-toc of piano calmed by string orchestration that lingers in a solace of sorts, layered with just the right amount of smooth guitar to give the power of flight to the listener so that he/she can sore over the landscapes of their own minds. "From the south" whisks you on a pleasant gallop of banjo-tinged post-rock that squeals onto a pitchshifted trumpet. The closer, "Le Dernier Jour", again places emphasis on the powerful subtleties of the piano. A consistent progression is enraptured in a variety of timbres, and swells to one final apex on the album, one last moment of overarching intensity before all the muscles release their grip, go numb, and coast to the finish line.

Clapés-Bot is musically trained, and it shows through the layers of accompaniment and the delicate detail of his songs. He borders the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Jonny Greenwood in the palette of sounds the instrumentation has. The 27-year-old spreads wide the gamut of his talents, playing flutes, violins, organs, harpsichord, synthesizers, piano, melodica, glockenspiel, guitars, banjo and drums. I'm a sucker for multi-instrumental musicians (one of my guilty pleasure is reading liner notes of albums to see how many instruments were used on the recording), and Caplés-Bot skillfully displays his talents through a sonic abundance of them.

I'm looking forward to what Clapés-Bot spends his energies on next -- as this album is surely a taster of what could be a magnificent body of work.


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