«Glaciar», the new solo album of Portuguese guitarist Marcelo dos Reis marks a new approach and chapter in his work. Dos Reis leaves the uncompromising, spiky but also refined approach that characterized his free-improv work with bands like Chamber 4, Frame Trio, Fail Better! and In Layers for more introspective and contemplative musings, He releases «Glaciar» on his newly founded label, Miria Records.
«Glaciar» was inspired by dos Reis residency in the Alps, but recorded at the Academia de Música CNM, in dos Reis hometown, Coimbra. The nine pieces flirt with hypnotic drones, layered patiently with delicate, lyrical veins, all have strong cinematic focus. He still offers a highly personal touch – on the electric and acoustic guitars – and voice – literally, with tasteful usage of effects, reserved tone but enough space for improvisations. On some of the dream-like ruminations, he even comes close to Robert Fripp’s Music for Quiet Moments, a series of meditative arrangements of King Crimson pieces that Fripp released during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Guy Peters, who wrote the liner notes, observes that the immersive and intimate listening experience «feels both improvised and mapped out, speaks of a connection with nature, perhaps even involves a spiritual ambition». And, indeed, dos Reis sounds as if he is attempting to sketch the magnificent, natural sceneries of the Alps, imagining with sounds what the eyes can not grasp. This new approach marks dos Reis as a fearless artist who keeps enriching his sonic vision in unpredictable, fascinating ways.
Marcelo dos Reis (g, eff, v)