There is a point about halfway through The Samurai Who Smelled of Sunflowers, the second track of Brazilian artist Cadu Tenório’s new album on Blue Tapes, where the drones break, like a storm passing and giving way to blue skies one more, only to be replaced with manic laughter and sound effects. I offer this as a warning to anyone listening, as I was, in a near comatose state, late at night in the dark. This abrupt change is enough to jolt one from any thoughts of sleep and set the heart pounding.
While there are no more surprises quite as harrowing as that on the rest of the tracks, they are more than worth a listen. The changes on this album can be abrupt like a tape stop or gradual, filtering in from the distance to the left or right but however the changes occur they always perfect in the context of the music. Drones form a bed for electronic noises, cheeps, whistles and feedback washing over the listener, slowly building and shimmering, filling the spectrum before either ebbing away, leaving layers of exposed chords that flow around, or smash cutting to something else entirely.
The album builds to its climax with the final track, the 16 minute long You See, I’ve Walked In Darkness For A Very Long Time, A Person Can Grow Accustomed To Anything. Ideas and textures hinted at throughout the rest of the tracks arrive fully formed now, sustained strings and shrieks densely layered below rhythmic industrial beats and bangs, like a howling creature banging on the exposed carcass of an old building, stretched to breaking point before giving way and enveloping the listener once more in shimmering drones and the sounds of the fresh night air.
This is music for the darkness, just be careful not to fall asleep.