(Unheard of Hope)
The Guatemalan musician layers soft vocals and jarring textures to create a direct and forceful new tone
Life after lockdown has been a time of creative change for Mabe Fratti. The Guatemalan cellist and composer wrote her second album, 2021’s Será Que Ahora Podremos Entendernos?, while isolating in an artist’s compound outside Mexico City. The nine-track album was a delicate suite of gauzy melodies and keening string lines punctuated by field recordings – an enigmatic music searching for meaning.
On her latest album, Se Ve Desde Aquí, Fratti re-enters the world, recording between Rotterdam and Mexico City and supplanting her supple arrangements with an experimental process that seeks to embrace the rougher edges of self-expression. Recording without overdubs to enhance the power of singular instrumental sounds, Fratti sets a direct and forceful new tone. Opener Con Esfuerzo eschews the cocoon-like tonal warmth of Fratti’s typical layered string sections and soft falsetto, instead placing a reverberating synth line over scattered hits of snares and angular guitar lines. Desde El Cielo continues the staccato feel, with Fratti singing a plaintive melody over a rapidly disintegrating rhythm section.
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