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ROOM40, DRM4141

Portuguese, Lisbon-based experimental, ambient guitarist Manuel Mota’s XIX has an oceanic spirit. Like all of Mota’s music, XIX is a work of muted architectural shapes, hovering in a mirage-like aura that suggests distance, landscape and a deep appreciation for the horizontal. Still, it also dwells in a sea of lower mid-band frequency, and much of XIX music moves and shifts like waves. Mota’s atmospheric guitar lines or sonic waves wash ashore with a kind of irregular pulse, reflecting a very human sensibility of the time, or a willingness to appreciate the subtle possibilities of interaction between the musician and the instrument.

Mota tells that before he began to work on XIX he had «certain visions and images» of «abandoned coastal chapels» he had visited. He remembered the sound of these chapels or their lack of sound, or the kind of sound they suggested, and an old moldy book with its text all deteriorated. His mind was captured by the feeling of listening to classic records as a child. «These memories were all reflecting on distance, place and time».

In a way, the four pieces of XIX attempt to capture a fleeting sonic etching of distance, place and time. Mota’s patient and quiet, modest and introspective approach still offers a sense of expanding horizons, always shifting and opening to new and unexpected terrains, but with no attempt to push forward into the sound. The suggestive XIX invites the listener to dive, meditate and rest within its caressing, gentle sounds.

Eyal Hareuveni

Manuel Mota (g)


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