By Blake Parker
The first note of Ripples Remixed strikes as a deep, cavernous tone. The trails of crisp piano pop and fall; shimmering electronic reverberations echo outward. Low notes and overtones drone heavily as fluttering melodies pass. Those who don’t listen with headphones can easily miss some of the best parts of this collection of remixes, as the EP covers the full range of sonic frequencies.
Alejandro Bento, composer and artist behind the sounds of Ripples, is a Spanish native with an accomplished painter for a father. Bento was exposed to music and arts early in life, tracing a long arc from formal lessons in wind, percussion, and brass instruments to self-taught piano. With additional background in djing and electronica (the influences of which are accented clearly in the remixed EP) stemming from his study of sound engineering and mechanical forms of music, Bento possesses the benefit of a well-rounded musical disposition.
However, as these experiences and skills add up, one might think of the resulting album as a crescendo of these elements that reach some great climax. Rather, Ripples and the subsequent Ripples Remixed are a step back – an homage to simpler creations and a less secular, more visceral art.
The sounds of Ripples Remixed each draw on a single track from the original album and are expanded into new sounds with total creative freedom. Remixing artists took the challenge further by bending genres, melding creative elements, and pushing the boundaries of the relationship between neo-classical piano and modern electronica. The remixed album includes works by Souns, LCC (Les Casicasiotone), Leeward, Memotone, Christopher Willits, and Axel Toben – Bento’s very own electronic music alias. The album, though formed by a medley of artists and creative techniques, moves fluidly from track to track and functions wonderfully as a singular piece of musical art. Both Bento and Subtempo Records should indeed take great pride in such an accomplished collaboration.