Miacd004 - 2006
Seattle-based multi instrumentalist Rafael Anton Irisarri is the latest in a growing number of electronic musicians returning to that hallowed of instruments – the piano. It has become something of a cliché now for the electronic musician to turn to the humble keys in the hope of adding something organic into the mix, but it would be frivolous to pass ‘Daydreaming’ off in such a manner. Rather than an electronic album with elements of piano, ‘Daydreaming’ sounds like a record written for piano which somehow manages to utilise current technology in its production. As the drifting synthesizers lap around the feet of a majestic piano part in the album’s opening track ‘Waking Expression’ it is startlingly clear that there is more to Irisarri than mere stereotyping. Rather this is a carefully constructed soundtrack to your most intriguing dreams, the dreams you might remember for a split second before losing everything, only to have images creep up on you some time later. Those of you left spellbound by Deaf Center’s haunting and beautiful ‘Pale Ravine’ album will be pleased to know that ‘Daydreaming’ continues in the tradition of murky, theatrical and deeply imaginative music quite wonderfully. Even Lynch is hinted at again with the album’s clear highlight ‘Lumberton’ (possibly a reference to Blue Velvet’s troubled small-town) and as the emotive piano shimmers around radio static and lightly picked guitar it is impossible not to get drawn into the shattered American dream. This is rich, visual music showing a dark, melancholic side to American life and captured perfectly by an artist unafraid to bear his soul to the world. Uncluttered and subtly realised, ‘Daydreaming’ is maybe best summed up as it draws to a close with a gaseous ambience, drawing you in for the last time before the inevitable repeat play. Pure, uninterrupted bliss.