I always think of the place where I live as a geographical challenge.
It’s a challenge because of its fragility. In our perspective of separate self, it’s very easy to think that our own reality is the harshest, that’s why the expression ‘first world problems’ was coined eventually. Rafael Anton Irisarri‘s new album is titled “A Fragile Geography”.
We both share an observing look on the place where we live.
Listening to it today again while writing these lines, it’s another crazy middle eastern evening full of madness, I realized that, not surprisingly at all, the soul can’t calm down anywhere, or if you wish – everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you.
You can feel the stress in this album, you can feel that the soul isn’t quiet, but of course, as always with Rafael’s music, you can hear the still water that are waiting there under the gushing waves. In the depths, where the most beautiful fish swim and where the water are not as heavily polluted by industrialism, everything is in its right place.
Rafael had a little tragedy where two years ago, a truck that moved his entire studio, was stolen. All musical instruments, computers, music stored as data, it was all gone. That can really kill you.
Glenn Jones had a similar tragedy, when a serious computer crash deleted all the work he did on the Dust To Digital Fahey box set, so he had to start all over. I bet that the new work was better than the original versions, in Glenn’s case. And I hear a new Rafael in the new album as well. It might be his natural artistic escalation, but I hear something else. Somewhat of a reborn person, someone who looked face to face with reality, and reality was forced to look down and away.
So it’s a buddhist album in a way. Handling each day at the time with its ups and downs and stolen trucks, and mainly try to capture the sound of now, and maybe even the sound of upcoming bright future, but refuses to look back. And this is why it’s his best album to date. Looking forward as an approach to life. I admire that.
They wrote in the press release – “Empire Systems, the album’s centerpiece, perfectly encapsulates this mood of flux: a rich and harmonically saturated monolith of sound, restless and constantly reaching outwards.”
I guess they were right. Reaching outwards.
The album was released on Room40 and available on LP/Mp3