|Delia Gonzalez||Horse Follows Darkness|
Delia Gonzalez — Horse Follows Darkness (May 5, 2017) Ξ★ A follow up to her previous record ‘In Remembrance’, Horse Follows Darkness is the second dark and mind~bending release from Delia Gonzalez. Although this record has a lot to live up to, the use of deep string drones and simple melodies that follow a straightforward narrative allow for Gonzalez to express her innermost self.
Location: New York, New York
Album release: May 5, 2017
Record Label: DFA Records
1. In Through The Light 6:09
2. Hidden Song 4:28
3. Roulette 7:40
4. Horse Follows Darkness 5:12
5. Vesuvius 7:23
Ξ★ Horse Follows Darkness is the second record by Delia Gonzalez, her follow up to the album “In Remembrance”.
Ξ★ The title is taken from a werewolf genre film her 8 year old son Wolfgang had created. At this time, Wolfgang also turned Delia onto a genre of cinema she had always resisted — the American Western.
Ξ★ Delia explains that what she observed “was all relevant — the album is based on our personal experience of moving back to America (from Berlin) and the journey that followed. The record is a manifestation of that, and what one creates for themselves under the given circumstances. Coming back to America, I felt like a foreigner and NYC / America felt like the Wild West. Most Westerns from the 1960s to the present have revisionist themes. Many were made by emerging major filmmakers who saw the Western as an opportunity to expand their criticism of American society and values into a new genre.” Ξ★ The narrative of the record is one of re~encountering the frontier mentality that shaped the country but somehow never faded. This time as a foreigner. The genre of the Western remains pertinent, many of the same stories of that brutally deromanticised era are still relevant today. America hasn’t changed — the cast, times and settings have, but we still hold onto the same ideal.
Ξ★ Horse Follows Darkness is essentially a modern electronic soundtrack for the Revisionist Western. Even the idea for the record cover is inspired by one of the most well known modern Westerns, Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs Miller.
Ξ★ The album was recorded with Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park studios, which Delia likens to “going to the finest tailor”. Abe became an integral part of the recording, playing guitar and helping to suggest experimenting with different synthesizers, something Delia was keen to do. Delia refers to Abe as a magical and incredibly intuitive collaborator” regarding the sound of the record.
Ξ★ The music that emerged from these recording sessions combines a range of influences — from the compositions of Erik Satie to ‘Salon De Musique’, the solo piano record by Su Tissue (of the L.A. punk band Suburban Lawns). The record also took on a much different shape and sound with the introduction of the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, as well as a vintage Korg Poly synth and the Roland SH~101. The golden era Krautrock recordings of bands like Neu!, Cluster & Harmonia were touchstones as well, the repetition, swirling soundscapes and locked~in rhythm tracks.
Ξ★ Delia Gonzalez is a Cuban~American musician and artist, based in both New York City & Berlin. Her disciplines include everything from composer to filmmaker, dancer / choreographer, sculptor, painter & performance artist. Her musical career with DFA Records began in 2004 when the label released the 12” single “Relevee”, followed by the album of cosmic acid~house “The Days of Mars”, with Delia and then musical partner Gavin Russom.
Ξ★ In 2015, DFA released Delia’s first solo album entitled “In Remembrance”, which was a full piano score for a 30 minute filmed ballet, a perfect example of the type of work Delia creates as a multi~disciplinary artist.
Review by Paul Simpson, Score: ★★★★
Ξ★ Delia Gonzalez composed Horse Follows Darkness after she and her eight~year~old son moved back to America after spending some time in Berlin. She states that America suddenly felt like a foreign country to her, and equates it with exploring the Wild West, additionally citing Western films as an influence on the album.
Ξ★ Coming two years after In Remembrance, an album of solo piano works based on 16mm ballet dance films, Horse Follows Darkness also seems to be a return to the kosmische and avant~disco sounds Gonzalez was known for during the 2000s, when she collaborated with Gavin Russom (both under their own names and as part of Black Leotard Front). Tracks like “Hidden Song” merge swiftly pumping beats with fluid, smoke~like guitars and basslines, as well as gentle, atmospheric synths. Piano continues to play a major role, but in different ways depending on each individual piece. The two selections without beats (opener “In Through the Light” and the title track) are mysterious, dream~like, and detached, and the pianos are often reversed or obscured. Otherwise, the pianos help form the backbone of the more rhythmic tracks, finding common ground between minimalism and zoned~out cosmic disco. “Roulette” is the album’s starry centerpiece, with lush, cascading pianos setting the stage for floating light rays of guitar and a Kompakt~esque shuffle beat. If there’s any track on the album which conjures up imagery of the Wild West, it’s the vast, dusty “Vesuvius,” but its storming beats and simmering arpeggios are a lot closer to Moroder’s vision of the West than Morricone’s.
Ξ★ At only 30 minutes, the album is brief, but it’s still transportive and illuminating. In Remembrance felt like the beginning of a new journey for Gonzalez; Horse Follows Darkness feels like trying to return to a prior destination but ending up somewhere else entirely.
|Delia Gonzalez||Horse Follows Darkness|