Madeleine Cocolas - Spectral Music Album Reviews

Madeleine Cocolas - Spectral Music Album Reviews
Atop a base of field recordings made near her home, the Australian composer layers pensive piano and electronics into a meditation on perception and memory.

“A Memory, Blown Out,” the tender opener of Madeleine Cocolas’ Spectral, gradually expands from a lone hum into a vibrant array of vocals and electronics. This slow unfurling, driven by a sense of tension and release, forms the album’s backbone. In a note accompanying the album, the Australian composer describes the music as “a subtle shift in memory” and a “recolouring of the world we think we know.” Its sustained tones and poignant, evolving melodies explore how tiny motions can create larger shifts in perspective.

Cocolas’ inspiration for Spectral initially came as she made field recordings near her home, capturing birdsong, crickets, storms, and conversation. But Cocolas’ music rarely foregrounds specific, place-setting sounds or details. Instead, she uses her recordings as a jumping-off point for her pensive music, swirling doleful piano and electronics into an expansive, nostalgic sound.

Spectral’s gauzy palette and structure feel similar to 2020’s Ithaca, which meditated on the idea of home in upbeat rhythms, but here, Cocolas takes on darker tones, often dealing in hollowed-out sounds and haunted musical motifs. “Enfold” exemplifies these themes: It begins with a static cloud, gradually adding electronics, echoey vocals, and melancholy piano chords that rise and fall. While much of the track feels suspended in time, these elements provide movement, swinging from poignancy to hopefulness and back again.

Many of Spectral’s tracks move in sweeping waves that can sometimes feel vague and distant. But “Northern Storm” and “And Then I Watch It Fall Apart” render spacious dimensions in vivid terms. The back-to-back pieces both feature crescendoing forms that eventually burst. On “Northern Storm,” sporadic beats lie beneath a sustained tone, eventually swallowing it in a dramatic gulp; on “And Then I Watch it Fall Apart,” faraway drones lie beneath resonant piano and buzzing electronics, growing in volume and then fading away. Different elements dart to the top of the mix and fall to the bottom, morphing into different shapes and highlighting the subtle motion that makes Cocolas’ music come to life.

Much of the album feels forlorn and wistful, but the final track, “Rip,” offers a surprising conclusion: Here, Cocolas strums a bright chord on an electric guitar while piano flutters around it. There’s a feeling of resignation, and a pulse—those two strums continue to beat, creating an unmistakable sense of time marching on. After all the amorphous sound, Cocolas gives us something concrete to grasp, leaving us with one final moment of clarity.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Madeleine Cocolas - Spectral Music Album Reviews Madeleine Cocolas - Spectral Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 Rating: 5

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