Friday, February 09, 2007

Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo

I'm coming to find that Constellation Records' stable of artists becomes more impressive with each release that I hear from them. The most recent Do Make Say Think is a strong statement from start to finish, Godspeed You! Black Emperor create some of the most powerful post-rock around and are a heavy force in a live setting, which also goes for A Silver Mt. Zion who are associated by shared musicians. Right on the heels of these popular acts is fellow Constellation cohort and multi-instrumentalist Sandro Perri, who also goes by the handle of Polmo Polpo with his solo music project.

Sandro Perri's 2006 release of Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo finds the Canadian artist working with friends and fellow musicians to put the polish on some of his previous work that was featured Polmo Polpo's first Constellation release, 2003's Like Hearts Swelling. The EP itself contains five tracks including two of the most recent compositions in "Dreaming" and "Circles," and clocks in at 27:01. This isn't music designed to wake you up in the morning, nor to set the tone for your next house party. Rather, it serves as a midnight treat that lays you down for a nice relaxing rest, but will not release its grip on your consciousness until the last guitar string is plucked.

Below is a bit of info Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo from Constellation, followed by two tracks to preview.

These are lovely tunes that extrapolate beautifully from their origins in Perri's more diffuse, multi-layered, pulsing electronic compositions. But they also serve to remind that Perri has always played guitar; Polmo Polpo merely swaddled it in a throne of drones and submarine beats. Perri still takes the clustered, layered approach to propel the opening track, "Romeo Heart (slight return)", using an additional nine players (from Toronto's out-music and improv community) to generate a rippling fabric through which the original melody now weaves. The four songs that follow are each distinct in approach, but strip back to Perri solo or with one or two other players. In every case, Perri's voice carries an infectious, quietly ecstatic tune.

A must for Polmo Polpo fans and a sweet collection of songs in its own right, Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo is another window on Toronto's improv and avant songwriter culture. A Sandro Perri full-length is due to follow this spring.

Sandro Perri - Dreaming
Sandro Perri - Circles

Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo is available on CD or 180gLP, and the LP jacket is a 2-colour silkscreen assembled by hand. Put in an order for your own copy, as well as the aforementioned Do Make Say Think, at the Constellation Records Online Shoppe.