Mateo Hurtado – Shapes Drawn By Fire
(Annulled Music, 2021-05-07)
To the question “can music be shamanic?” Donato Dozzy was sharing with us recently that in the “urban context”, it was first and foremost a matter of gathering, a high degree of unity between the artist and the audience, caused by the sonic connection and eventually the intimacy of the location where the music is played. The real shaman, when hitting the drums, looks for the perfect rhythmic harmony that will eventually connect the brain to the spirits, while the hypnotic and atmospheric techno artist, respectively with the repetitions and the evocations of nature, tainted of tribal grooves, attempts to create a close connection between the sound and the listeners.
Dino Sabatini was a pioneer of such combinations during his Prologue years, with his resounding album “Shaman’s Path“. Along with the other artists of the Italian saga, he succeeded to offer the listeners an interesting musical interpretation of the shamanic vibe, and by that to inflate the trippy feel, already powerful thanks to the “cult of the drone” brought by the psychedelic and early ambient cultures. New generations of talented artists have then followed the move, bringing the sound to the depth of their own souls. Mateo Hurtado surprised us by having become one of them, through this exceptional release.
The artist from Switzerland is not a newbie, having been producing for some years now, but his past releases are more incisive, flirting with the industrial techno harshness, as reflected in “Inverted Forest” and “Umbra EP” in particular, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in his first two albums “The Tyranny Of Light” and “All The While Staying Perfectly Still“. He is maybe gentler in his improvised live acts, such as in the impressive one for Reptilian Transmission, showing his true passion for modular synths. But “Shapes Drawn By Fire” seemingly marks Mateo Hurtado’s entry into deeper dimensions.
Not sure if it’s the treasured label Annulled Music, well known among contemporary underground techno lovers, that inspired such a wiser direction, or if the release simply results from a higher maturity – or both; only the outcome matters: the LP is simply outstanding, breathtaking. Mateo Hurtado takes the time to install intimate landscapes with a high mastery. The attraction is immense: the mind almost instantly dissolves itself from reality, under harmonious drones, deep ritualistic sonorities and subtle – perfectly designed – beats. A smart game of tension/release sustains interest, through intriguing sounds, various rhythmic structures and beautiful pads. The listener gets lost in the journey with great ease and – admittedly – with an incommensurable pleasure. This is an album of masterpieces, expected to be remembered.
WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 10 MAY 2021