Monocyte Ambient, Classical Saltillo He's back, he's leaner and far grittier than what we have previously heard from him. He is also much, much darker. It has been a few years since Chicago's Saltillo released anything but in that intervening time, many people have come to know his work through not only word of mouth but also by the re-issue his current label did of his debut. When Suspicious Records faded out, I was truly worried that we'd never hear new tracks from this guy but now I've been given a fistful of them to peruse and parse through. What made his first album stand out is what an unholy marriage of classical and hip hop it was, 'Monocyte' expands on this beginning considerably and incorporates gorgeously ethereal vocals on a couple of songs. I'd well imagine the lazier members of the press out there making some kind of comparison to Delerium or, Massive Attack. There is none to be found. We aren't listening to someone trying to pad their nest egg nor are these compositions drawn out to demonstrate how easy it is to coast on a name. Saltillo are concise, focused and viciously engaging. What you'll hear on 'Monocyte' is no mere continuance of a safe formula, there's quite a bit of experimentation which springs forth from this man's mind, he has a creative bent to him which you unfortunately don't find much anymore. The visceral cellos strain against dissected beats which could only be viewed as partially digested; the rising bile and gathering clouds of contempt flare throughout this record hungrily tearing chunks of your psyche out, this isn't a happy release by any stretch of the imagination. And that is something else Satillo have by the ton: deliriously intoxicating creativity. Bending and twisting, subverting sounds and styles to his whim, our hero commands his lonely orchestra from the bowels of conscious thought. His music brings together so many many emotions all at once, with no time to consider what the broader ramifications of their meeting could be. Operatic vocals soar alongside tattered, abusive beats and then come under the spell of wickedly altered notes from what sounds like an abandoned piano which was found with some arcane sheet music still rattling upon it's stand. If you consider, or have considered I should say, that Saltillo are conjuring up the ghostly melodies of days long gone I'd tend to agree with you. He has somehow found a way to give his work an archaic, vintage feel. His methods are far from overt, I've not heard so many fragments collated into solid form before; it is as though I'm looking into a kaleidoscope and instead of the patterns shifting slowly according to geometric design they come apart in a rapturous explosion of ephemeral release. The vocal samples are poignantly positioned and weave a refrain of longing and loss, a collective awakening perhaps but more likely the meditations of one man's mind after the day is done. When you've been out amongst humanity long enough, choking on the agendas and ego of others, all you desire is a place to escape to in order to collect your thoughts. 'Monocyte' is such a place, one of the many oasis's in this parched desert of popular culture's design. Let it inside of you and drink deeply from this wellspring of solace. 450
Brutal Resonance

Saltillo - Monocyte

8.0
"Great"
Spotify
Released 2012 by Artoffact Records
He's back, he's leaner and far grittier than what we have previously heard from him. He is also much, much darker. It has been a few years since Chicago's Saltillo released anything but in that intervening time, many people have come to know his work through not only word of mouth but also by the re-issue his current label did of his debut. When Suspicious Records faded out, I was truly worried that we'd never hear new tracks from this guy but now I've been given a fistful of them to peruse and parse through. What made his first album stand out is what an unholy marriage of classical and hip hop it was, 'Monocyte' expands on this beginning considerably and incorporates gorgeously ethereal vocals on a couple of songs. I'd well imagine the lazier members of the press out there making some kind of comparison to Delerium or, Massive Attack. There is none to be found. We aren't listening to someone trying to pad their nest egg nor are these compositions drawn out to demonstrate how easy it is to coast on a name.

Saltillo are concise, focused and viciously engaging. What you'll hear on 'Monocyte' is no mere continuance of a safe formula, there's quite a bit of experimentation which springs forth from this man's mind, he has a creative bent to him which you unfortunately don't find much anymore. The visceral cellos strain against dissected beats which could only be viewed as partially digested; the rising bile and gathering clouds of contempt flare throughout this record hungrily tearing chunks of your psyche out, this isn't a happy release by any stretch of the imagination. And that is something else Satillo have by the ton: deliriously intoxicating creativity. Bending and twisting, subverting sounds and styles to his whim, our hero commands his lonely orchestra from the bowels of conscious thought. His music brings together so many many emotions all at once, with no time to consider what the broader ramifications of their meeting could be. Operatic vocals soar alongside tattered, abusive beats and then come under the spell of wickedly altered notes from what sounds like an abandoned piano which was found with some arcane sheet music still rattling upon it's stand.

If you consider, or have considered I should say, that Saltillo are conjuring up the ghostly melodies of days long gone I'd tend to agree with you. He has somehow found a way to give his work an archaic, vintage feel. His methods are far from overt, I've not heard so many fragments collated into solid form before; it is as though I'm looking into a kaleidoscope and instead of the patterns shifting slowly according to geometric design they come apart in a rapturous explosion of ephemeral release. The vocal samples are poignantly positioned and weave a refrain of longing and loss, a collective awakening perhaps but more likely the meditations of one man's mind after the day is done. When you've been out amongst humanity long enough, choking on the agendas and ego of others, all you desire is a place to escape to in order to collect your thoughts.

'Monocyte' is such a place, one of the many oasis's in this parched desert of popular culture's design. Let it inside of you and drink deeply from this wellspring of solace.
Feb 29 2012

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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