Leonel Castillo - El Salon De Los Espejos
Fresh off the minimal wave Leonel Castillo fed with last year's "El Nino," El Salon De Los Espejos opens still in sight of that trend. Flaring tech house sears throughout "Espejos" with an aggressive hi-hat keeping time while bursts of chopped vocal samples and quick brassy stabs couple the ends of Castillo's phrases. Throughout, the attention to melody is spare. Castillo's horns recall the hooks of old disco records, pushing "Espejos" to climax. 808 cymbals and house chords build few bursts in the rhythm. The cut-up vocals, each voice its own instrument, echo an urban party, a street full of dancers. "Atlantico" begins with the same form: a cuica-infused beat built with ample sonic space for its kick and handclap. A near oceanic pad envelopes the second third of the track, introducing enough interesting wash to the record that, once the track ends, it's as though we've progressed from the start of the single to middle in a single dynamic song.
Castillo hails from Argentina, and it shows more on El Salon De Los Espejos than his other recent work. He told RA earlier this year that Buenos Aires has a positive energy throughout its streets. That's clearly evident here. In "Pendejo," a papery beat is spattered with more voices, calls to a crowd. It fits the vibe, and it makes sense. Castillo is mostly a minimalist. He isn't bereft of attention to his musical audience, and there are outright danceable hints of his intention—polyrhthyms and a coastal warmth. At times he could use a wider palette. His last string of releases seem to rely on the same kit throughout, but that doesn't make this by any means bad. Indeed, there's enough consistent crowd-catering to welcome new reflections and new energy in Castillo's hall of mirrors.
Mon / 29