Rio-born, locally-based composer, synthesist and percussionist RICARDO DONOSO has always maintained a very busy schedule. From releases in groups like EHNAHRE and PERISPIRIT to solo work for labels as diverse as Digitalis, Hospital Productions, Further Records and now Denovali to his solo techno alias SCUBA DEATH and his work on ambitious audio-visual projects like Song For Echo, the Berklee and Conservatory-trained experimental artist has been steadily pumping out record after record, with each one receiving more critical attention and plaudits than its predecessor.
This is deservedly so. There have been leaps in progress between the chilling Assimilating the Shadow, the darker, more propulsive As Iron Sharpens Iron and his newest release under his given name, the free three-song Beginning of the Shape EP.
Opener “Shape Collateral” is almost half of the EP’s runtime. It’s a phenomenally arranged track that takes form slowly and beautifully, breathing life into itself bit by bit for its first couple minutes before any trace of a beat manifests and then subsuming that beat completely for various lengths to bursts of organic ambient weirdness, all before eventually blowing up into an honest to goodness almost-dance-jam in its last few minutes. “The View of the Overlook (Rendition)” is the middle track. I can almost see the Overlook hotel in the distance as I ride shotgun with Jack Torrance while I take in this ominous but also slightly awed-sounding bit of ambient synth. Finally is “Shape Collateral (Condemned Version)”, which twists the shape of the original into something initially more straightforward and slightly industrial but still brimming with deep, intense synth drones.
Donoso’s busy streak will continue unabated into 2015 as he plans two new albums and a box set by the end of 2015. This EP is a great little ambient tide-over while we eagerly await those full-length excursions. Highly recommended.
Beginning of the Shape is available for free now on Soundcloud. Ricardo Donoso will be performing live with Greek dub techno legend FLUXION at the Middlesex Lounge this Wednesday, September 24th.