Mabe Fratti - Se Ve Desde Aquí Music Album Reviews

Mabe Fratti - Se Ve Desde Aquí Music Album Reviews
On her new album, the Guatemalan cellist trades her lush, verdant style for moments of austere beauty. She feels more intuitive and confident than ever.

Mabe Fratti’s music tends to pull in opposite directions, torn between friction and release. On 2019’s Pies sobre la tierra and 2021’s Será que ahora podremos entendernos, the Guatemalan-born, Mexico City-based cellist, composer, and singer spun vast, verdant worlds out of tangled loops and layers. Those albums were notable for their fullness: lilting cello lines and Fratti’s high, plaintive voice, often multi-tracked or run through Auto-Tune, entwined above dense thickets of synthesizer and reverb. Her songs could be chaotic—tendrils of noise, like the buzz of a charred amplifier, might run beneath even the most angelic refrain—but their chief characteristic was an overwhelming sense of yearning, expressed in searching vocal melodies. If those first two albums were lush, leafy gardens, the new one, Se Ve Desde Aquí, is a desert. Fratti’s music has always been beautiful, but this is a different, more daring kind of beauty: stark and severe, capturing the cracked earth below and the radiant sweep of the night sky above.

The shift is immediately apparent on “Con Esfuerzo,” the instrumental sketch that opens the album. Dissonant bows flash out above churning synths, a halting drumbeat, and a burst of dubbed-out acoustic guitar. There’s a sense of something building: spirits being summoned, or a storm coming on. In the past, much of Fratti’s best work manifested when she reached into the zone where the elements bled together, as if she were feeling her way toward clarity; here, the mystery deepens as she pares back.

The following track, “Desde el cielo,” is the album’s first proper song, yet it’s just as skeletal. She plucks a bassline on her cello; the synthesizer sounds like a howling wind. “Fuera, fuera,” she sings (“Out, out”), her voice assured despite its wavering tone. Underneath her, an atonal swirl of sax, drums, and guitar suggests a fusion of free jazz and ambient, charged with the energy of spontaneous creation. Across the album, she’s assisted by a handful of wildly talented collaborators, including multi-instrumentalist Héctor Tosta, electronic musician Carla Boregas, violinist Alina Maldonado, drummer Gibrán Andrade, and saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore, whose spectral, silvery glint illuminates several of the record’s most thrilling moments. However it may have been recorded, it feels like a group of players improvising together in real time. Yet despite the complexity of the tumbling movements on “Desde el cielo,” emptiness yawns between each instrument. It’s less a linear piece of music than a space to enter and inhabit—a dwelling, perhaps a refuge.

Stripped of electronic processing, Fratti’s voice is more forceful than on previous albums; the air of refinement that sometimes clung to her singing has burned off. Her tone is still soft and breathy, and in places even thin, imbued with a quick, nervous vibrato, but she makes bolder leaps, happy to lean into imperfection. There’s a newfound confidence to her songwriting, too. She frequently recalls both Arthur Russell and Kate Bush, not only in her melodic choices, but also in her ability to blend the intuitive with the unknown, to make the alien seem second nature.

Fratti’s lyrics favor simple phrases and unadorned metaphors that blur the lines between inanimate objects and living things. “Cada músculo tiene una voz,” she intones (“Every muscle has a voice”). “Cae el sudor a la tierra/Extiende sus alas” (“Sweat falls to the ground/Extends its wings”). She sings of walls falling, echoes with no source, unfamiliar voices that appear to be speaking in her stead; many of her most memorable lines take the form of questions. “Joven el día pide/¿Será la sed de nuevo?” (“The young day asks/Is it the thirst again?”) “¿Qué es lo que pide mi cuerpo?” (“What is it my body wants?”)

The answer to that question is “stop pushing” (“deja de empujar”). Her voice cuts like a narrow beam through murky discord, and it’s clear from the shift in tone exactly what she means by this mantra: Give in, go gently, and find solace in being swept up by a greater force. These are songs about doubt and self-knowledge, and perhaps also about the creative process. In “Algo grandioso,” the album’s sweetest and most consonant track, she sings of embracing something long-awaited, and as her voice slips into a wordless melody, simple and unburdened, it transmits a mixture of exhaustion and joy—the relief, perhaps, that follows the completion of a long and arduous journey.

Fratti says that here, for the first time, she avoided layering multiple instances of individual instruments, but she breaks that self-imposed rule on “Siempre tocas algo,” the final song. The introduction is even more spartan than what has preceded it; through a haze of synthesizers, her cello creaks like a rusty gate. She describes estrangement and presence in typically plainspoken terms: “¿Qué tan cerca puedo estar?/¿Qué es lo que nos separa?” (“How close can I be?/What is it that separates us?”) Then, without warning, her voice erupts into dazzling multi-part harmony, as though all the inchoate longing of her previous albums had been concentrated into a single swollen deluge. Austere yet never wanting, Se Ve Desde Aquí is an album that empties you and fills you up. There’s a desolation at its core, an intimate knowledge of lack, but also a fervent belief in redemption—even if it lasts no longer than a momentary explosion of color, like parched earth blooming after a long-awaited rain.
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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.
Mabe Fratti - Se Ve Desde Aquí Music Album Reviews Mabe Fratti - Se Ve Desde Aquí Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 01, 2022 Rating: 5


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