- If you're only vaguely familiar with Guti, his dropping a jazz album may seem like a real curveball. But for fans of Desolat's Argentinian mainstay, it's no great surprise. Guti's love of jazz piano and Latin-jazz rhythms rippled through his gorgeous 2011 album, Patio De Juegos. In interviews, he namedrops Oscar Peterson as readily as he does fellow house producers. Long before he became a star in the rock band Jovenes Pordioseros, he'd put in serious time on the piano stool. In short, Guti hasn't just heard Nils Frahm and jumped on some neo-minimalist bandwagon. If anything, this is him going back to his roots.
The result is a ruminative, melancholic album that, at its extremes, dispenses with beats altogether (on the Satie-ish "Desesperado" or Hammond-blanketed lullaby, "Bed-Time Stories") and, elsewhere, morphs into a full-on homage to 1950s jazz. "Used To Be Like This," which features Juan Cruz Urquiza on trumpet, sounds wasted yet resiliently energetic, like Chet Baker rolling out of an LA jazz club at 6 AM, blinking and grinning in the morning sunlight.
The best tracks, however, are a central cluster on which Guti splits the difference between his club and jazz personas. On "Desidia" and "El Solitario," his piano figures weave over shuffling beats, muffled dabs of bass, chirruping electronics and atmospheric organ pads. Fans of Nicolas Jaar will love "La Salida," a discursive piece of dewy-eyed, wee hours electronica.
But let's not over-egg it. Rompecorazones (which translates to "heart-breaker") is not as daring or emotionally intense as, for instance, Hauschka's Abandoned City, a recent album that explores similar territory. Guti's piano style is too laidback, too smooth, too pleasantly melodic for that. There are tracks—such as the saccharine "Magia" or "To My Latest Love," with its swelling major chords—when it all gets rather mawkishly MOR. It may lack a radical edge, then, but in its fusion of electronics and piano, Rompecorazones frequently jells into something beautiful.
01. To My Latest Love
02. Bed Time Stories
04. La Salida
05. El Solitario
08. We Love You
10. Rompe Corazones
11. Used To Be Like This