- Inspired by Greek mythology and idyllic isles, this is as chilled as it gets.
- Water, it might be said, runs in Gigi Masin's blood. The composer lives in Venice, and the influence of its canals and the nearby Adriatic Sea can be heard in nearly all of his output to date, from 1986's long-neglected Wind LP to his retrospective compilation on Music From Memory, Talk To The Sea, and even his work with Young Marco and Jonny Nash as Gaussian Curve (complete with beachy cover art on 2017's Distance LP.) On Masin's new album, Calypso, his connection to water has never been clearer. Named after the goddess who lived on the mythical Greek island Ogygia, the record paints an idyllic picture of island life. It does so with sounds that evoke the deepest blue Aegean sea, the fortifying glow of the sun and restorative, far-stretching horizons.
Calypso's opening track might be the album's most gorgeous, a dreamlike symphony of strings, woody bass notes and plinking tones that could have accompanied the goddess Calypso weaving on her loom. "Bellamore" takes its cues from the sea breeze rather than the water. It's a heady mix of airy chords, feminine sighs and gentle trip-hop percussion.
As specific as the album's setting might be, Masin manages to express the nuances of the island's natural elements. "Nefertiti" seems suspended in a subaquatic bubble. "Anemone," via a modest beat underpinning mournful piano, could be the soundtrack to a pensive amble along the shore. But not everything is this beatific. The haunting chorus and zither strings of "Cry Winds Or Flames," the distorted, swampy drama of "Enter Venus" and the propulsive "The Water Sibyl" all offset the LP's drowsy qualities.
Perhaps most crucially, Calypso also feels personal, especially on the album closer, "Your Name Is My Infinite." It's one of the album's most unadorned tracks—just piano for the most part, some cicadas and an old Greek man talking about religion and folk tradition. It's also the fullest embodiment of another of Masin's enduring themes: love. In a world where little else feels sacred, Calypso, as well as calling forth a place and characters, conveys the beauty of one of life's most reassuring constants.
06. Khalifa Golf Club
07. Mayo Slide
08. Susan Maybe
11. How To Disappear In A Kiss
12. Cry Winds Or Flames
13. Enter Venus
14. On Demons And Diamonds
15. The Water Sibyl
16. Your Name Is My Infinite