The Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida said, more or less, that “an artist should always try to do what he still does not know how to do.” Without actually knowing this quotation but only the sensation and the wakefulness behind it, Refree’s musical art seems to subscribe word for word to Chillida’s edict.
Having spent the last years as an inspired facilitator for, and co-creator with, a plethora of storied musicians (American songwriter Josh Rouse, the aforementioned Cruz, Ranaldo, Rosalía and many more), in 2017 Refree undertook the production of two instrumental leaning 10-inch solo EPs. The first of these, Jai Alai vol.01, is mostly a collection of reflective solo guitar music, with each title named according to the instrument used on the track and the date on which it was played (“Ramirez 11012017” / “Telecaster 01032017b”). The second Jai Alai volume is quite a different proposition, with the material coming from a soundtrack project, and the sound palette expanded to include recordings of street music, voices and a subtle electronic dimension.
The tak:til release La Otra Mitad is a full-length album that weaves together the two Eps and creates a dramatic new entity in itself. Whereas the guitar tracks included from Jai Alai vol.01 echo the spontaneity and sturdy simplicity of Derek Bailey or Durutti Column, they are balanced beautifully by the more textured soundtrack compositions from Jai Alai vol.02, that make up the majority of the album. One senses the search and discovery in all of this, especially when listening to how these tracks merge together. It feels boundless. The only self-imposed limit being no discernible limits. A skillful artist figuring out how to do, what he doesn’t know how to do. Refree gives us a glimpse into the album’s genesis:
“I started the first 10” collection because I didn’t feel like waiting for an album to be....... więcej