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For ‘Alfa Serenar’ read Rafael Senra, a professor at Federal University of Amapa (Brazil). One day he was messing about on his guitar, picked up a ruler he saw on his brother’s desk, and started using it as a bow. This took him to an instrumental world far from the standard pop-type numbers he normally recorded, and soon he had enough songs of this type to be able to release an album. He says his influences include local bands such as Clube da Esquina, to artists like Brian Eno and Anthony Phillips, and then onto the ethereal sound of the Cocteau Twins. Certainly, there is a lot here that one would associate with Phillips, while I can also hear Jeremy Morris in some of what he is doing. Vocals are only used as an additional instrument (and are probably the weakest point), and while both bass and guitars are here in a normal setting, it is the other worldliness of some of the sounds that makes this album so different. While not exactly languid or laid back, there is no feeling of being rushed through the music. There is a great deal of reverb and treatment of sounds, and at times it makes me feel almost of being in a cavern with sounds continuing to bounce around the walls as new ones are made and become part of the whole. There are times when we feel as if we are falling into the world of Steve Hillage, which is never a bad thing and always interesting. Currently only available as a digital album, released through Progshine, I am certainly pleased to have come across it and look forward to hearing more in a similar vein.
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