Sandro Perri - In Another Life

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2018-09-14
Sandro Perri - In Another Life
Sandro Perri - In Another Life

Even though Canadian Sandro Perri has been around for a while, he doesn’t seem to be a name that is often on the lips, even with the most ardent followers of modern music. Although he has only three albums under his name, he’s been making an electronic/singer/songwriter music mesh, comparable to the likes of Artur Russel, Eric Chenaux and Peter Broderick, under the guises like Polmo Polpo, Glissandro 70, Off World and as a member of Barzin and Great Lake Swimmers.

While Impossible Spaces, his previous album did make a certain critical splash, somehow, he still seems to be lurking in the shadows of cultdom, many not aware of his co-production work for the likes of Steven Malkmus and members of Grizzly Bear.

Beyond the choice of create or destroy / inherit, steal, gift or employ / Fair is far too small a word we’d enjoy / In another life / So hold a promise no bigger than two hands / Hope scaled and re-read in human / And not reduced to a list of demands / In another life.”

So goes the complete lyrics for the title track of In Another Life, the title track of the latest album by Perri. If you, just by checking the lyrics, expect a brief musical ditty, you won’t get it. Perri develops this 24-minute composition into an almost cyclical minimalistic Perpetuum mobile, that just keeps on adding musical elements on the basic synth line and repeating, languid vocals from Michael Rotter-like guitar lines, distant piano, various small percussive instruments and elements that you just keep discovering as you go along. The listener is finally left just with the continuing synths coda. Frankly, quite mesmerising, in its quiet expanding way.

Seemingly, the album has three other themes, which actually turn out to be three variations on the same theme - Everybody’s Paris (I-III), with the vocals of André Ethier from The Deadly Snakes (Part II) and Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer (Part III). Again, it is gentle, languid, slowly developing melody that takes you everywhere from one perfect spot, with the three themes running the same melody and lyrics taken from the different arrangement and vocal perspectives. Destroyer’s Part III is particularly impressive, as it sounds like a modern mutation of something Joni Mitchell might have done on her Hejira album.

As with almost anything coming from Montreal’s Constellation Records that brought us the likes of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, In Another Life brings intriguing and enlightening musical perspectives, presenting a showcase of how ‘simplicity’ is the most complex thing to achieve.

 

 

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