GASTÓN ARÉVALO: Rollin Ballads CD Oktaf
Blissfully rising in waves of swarming ambience, opener ‘Souvenir’ draws from a background of living next to harbour in Montevideo, Uruguay. Layer upon layer of natural resources are awash with gliding pads that gradually fold amongst the drifts and gel the sound into a cohesive mass that is as clean as it is dense.
Arévalo describes his sound as Pop-Ambient. Many genres are played with terminology wise and whilst I cannot find a place for the word ‘Pop’ within the realms of ‘Rollin Ballads’, there is more than his fair share of the counter-tag to his work.
Arévalo utilises his field recordings well. More often than not I am dismayed to find that through lack of talent people forget that this medium should be used as an addition, rather than the main output of their work. The recordings on this album are merely there as a backdrop whilst he performs musically within the mix.
There is a real sense of space and time that plays out well throughout the majority of this release and it’s easy to find your mind reaching out visually to the backdrop that is portrayed through your speakers; the only negatives I can draw on the whole are that many of the songs drift into one another too much with little to differentiate them from one another. Luckily however, the quality holds strong throughout; and given patience, ‘Rollin Ballads’ is more than a rewarding listen, once given the attention it deserves.