Pablo Vasquez : Teasero (single)26.08.2016 : Cae Gwyn
A CD arrived through my door unheralded, a new release from Recordiau Cae Gwyn.
An esoteric, Snowdonia based label, Cae Gwyn is the recording home of Mr Huw, Omaloma and Dan Amor amongst others, and has released two remarkable recent compilations - Cynefin Cae Gwyn, and Swooshed - that serve as the perfect road maps for musical journeys into new territory.
The promotional CD features Pablo Vasquez, a New Zealand duo - Jolyon Mulholland and Elroy Finn - who shared an apartment in New York in 2011 whilst working on other projects. Living in the same space it was not long before they discovered their shared love of classical guitar, and inspired by circumstance, wrote a set of pieces for it. They started to play live shows, but the project stalled when Jolyon moved back home in 2013.
The pieces could have been lost, but in 2015 Elroy returned home too, if only for the summer.
Taking their chance to resurrect the songs, they recorded them over two nights in a studio stairwell (for the acoustics) and had enough music for a debut album. Teasero is being released by Cae Gwyn as a free download and taster, before the complete work later in the year.
Allegedly the idea the duo held in mind whilst recording was to make music that would be perfect to listen to over dinner - as a single, at 3 minutes 37 seconds, Teasero is just long enough to make and wolf a late night jam sandwich.
The bare intimacy of the recording, its slow, dignified and meditative progression, and the way the two guitars interplay, make it much more than background music, it is properly and unexpectedly absorbing.
It is not hard to imagine the album being exactly what you would want to slowly unwind in the fading light of a September evening.
I asked Dan Amor, who as well as being a singer songwriter in his own right doubles as the Cae Gwyn's only permanent staff member, how a New Zealand classical guitar album became the next item on his to do list, expecting an extraordinary linking narrative between North West Wales and Pablo Vasquez's music (this is a label that managed to release a first rate collection of songs entirely from artists with a link to the village of Penmachno), and got the straight reply:
"I stumbled upon these guys online and loved their sound, contacted them explaining a little about the label, pitched the idea of a release and they were up for it - simple as that really!"
Which roughly translates as 'it was Google'; but listen to Swooshed or Cynefin Cae Gwyn - Dan has an exceptional ear, and it hasn't failed him in choosing this project for his label.
PABLO VASQUEZ I Teasero