ML Buch ⟡ Maria Reis & Ondness [Sold out]

Galeria Zé dos Bois

ML Buch © Alva Le Febvre
©Ani Liv Kampe, Agnete Hannibal Petri & ML Buch
Maria Reis

ML Buch

A resplendent album released last year, ‘Suntub’ turned out to be a gift as unexpected as it was welcoming from the Danish songwriter, producer, guitarist and vocalist. A student of sound, she reveals this in the poise and care of her compositions, but to all intents and purposes ‘Suntub’ comes across as the pop record we needed without being able to predict it. Based on the seven-string guitar and the placid envelopment of his voice, ‘Suntub’ is hyper-real in a way that doesn’t seek to mock and expel the agonising torrent of hyper-information of these days, but rather to seek the contemplation possible in this chaos. Lucid and transparent, ML Buch’s music is almost naturalistic in the way it absorbs the digital lustre in its processes and logics, as if it were a second nature admitted and manifested in the form of these songs.

‘Skinned’, their 2020 debut, would already have left some vague antecedents for the mysteries of ‘Suntub’, but while the digital processing there was wide open in a self-conscious palette of effects, almost like an avatar, here it shines through in a way that is never imposing, embodying its strangely familiar melodies. Without any great current parallels, there’s a certain blessed dissimulation of soft rock and folk here that vaguely recalls in the way it gathers inspiration the – now half-forgotten – craft of Rangers in ‘Suburban Tours’ and ‘Pan Am Stories’. Only while the latter’s quest accessed the eternity of melody through the haze of memory, eaten away by tape noise, here the music is coated in a digital gloss that echoes the passage from the CD-ROM era to the definitive institution of the Web, an idea of a future yet to be fulfilled. The lace and vocal harmonies of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Hejira’, the steamier moments of Christine McVie in Fleetwood Mac, the effects and circular melodies of Andy Summers in the Police or the dreams of (err) dream pop are entangled like fractals where familiarity gives way to astonishment, evasion to hospitality, in a symbiotic and simultaneous relationship that is always, always evocative. BS

Maria Reis & Ondness

A very, very recent incarnation of Bruno Silva tcp Ondness and Maria Reis tcp Maria Reis, in a combination of voices, keyboards-mantra and narcotic beats. Wandering and sensitive semi-songs, tending towards hypnosis and a confused libido. RIYL: Excepter, Hype Williams, Coil circa ‘Musick to Play in the Dark’.

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