Pedro Soler And Gaspar Claus Al Viento on LP
Stunning follow-up to their debut album, Barlande (described by NPR as "One of the loveliest records of this short century"). Whereas that record saw the father/son duo recording in Brooklyn with Bryce Dessner and Sufjan Stevens, Al Viento is a fully European affair, started in Iceland with Valgeir Sigurösson (Sigur Rós, Nico Muhly, Brian Eno), and completed in Spain, with guests including Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundation).
Al Viento evokes the dusty, minimal soundtrack of a Wim Wenders or Jim Jarmusch road movie. The avant-garde scrapes and drones of Claus' cello reminiscent of a player such as Tom Cora or more recently the modern classical of the Erased Tapes roster. This contrasts beautifully with the melodic flourishes of his father's flamenco guitar, an instrument of which he is an acknowledged master in Spain, although the part-improvised approach he takes to traditional patterns is more akin to maverick US musician and ethnomusicologist John Fahey or British folk guitarist Bert Jansch.
The sighs, outbursts, dips, elisions and surges of discord with which Claus' cello hooks the paternal elements breathe life once again into this improbable and mineral truth: if these two, the father and the son, were not always playing quite the same music during the sessions for the album, then they were certainly painting the same landscape.