- Hypnotic, drifting rhythms.
- The cover of Mas Amable, Brian Piñeyro's second album for Anthony Naples' Incienso label, shows a photograph of a blue, sunlit and clean-contoured house, made extra charming by little palm trees in the front yard. The image recalls another image inspired by a relaxed lifestyle: David Hockney's A Bigger Splash, painted in 1967. Its subject is a swimming pool in a modernist Hollywood home, depicted moments after an unseen diver jumps in. The waterworks become Hockney's conceptual focus. "A splash could never be seen this way in real life, it happens too quickly," he explains. "And I was amused by this, so I painted it in a very, very slow way." Hockney took two weeks to create the splash using painstakingly small brush strokes—a fleeting moment slowed down by process.
As DJ Python, Piñeyro is also an artist who defies time and linearity. His past records, a dreamy and undefinable blend of breakbeats, IDM and "deep reggaeton," are often compared to water or air, qualities associated with ambient music, though Piñeyro goes heavy on rhythm and drums. In his 2017 Breaking Through feature, Max Pearl described this style as having a kind of formlessness, where the artist's "best tracks slip away before you can get a firm hold on them." On Mas Amable, Piñeyro takes this blurry feeling to a new level.
Though the album has eight tracks, there are no clear separations between pieces, offering a continuous journey through wistful synths and hypnotic, syncopated drums. The opener's lustrous synths become the second track's shimmering backdrop as it slowly builds into a thwacking beat. Everything from minute ten to 25 feels like part of the same fever dream, with repeated riffs, humid atmospheres and swinging drum patterns. Only with close attention do the differences become clear—the soft tension on "Alejandro," the sweet undertones on "oooophi," the melancholic fog on "Descanse."
Along this hazy, meandering route, there is one track that clearly stands out: "ADMSDP." Here the rhythm completely switches, becoming both sparser and clunkier, which leaves space for whispered lyrics from Brooklyn writer and poet LA Warman. Like Piñeyro's production, her poetry has a kind of free association flow to it, drifting from cynicism to realism and, eventually, to a kind of sexual empowerment. "To think life has no meaning / no meaning but suffering / these feelings are OK to feel," she says. Later: "What would it mean for you to touch your body / to feel how soft you are / how warm you are / how smooth your surfaces are?" "You can be depressed and be OK... Wrap your arms around your body."
LA Warman's words are smudged with reverb and crawl on for 11 slow minutes, making it easy for them to fall out of focus and be heard as just a foggy texture. And yet, giving them proper attention reveals something deeper than expected. The same goes for Mas Amable as a whole. It may be dreamy and easygoing on the surface, a chill album to set the vibe of a room. But it's filled with deep moods, careful details and weird, intense rhythms. The best way to hear it is to slow down and appreciate each little thing passing by.
01. Te Conocí
06. ADMSDP feat. LA Warman
09. ADMSDP feat. LA Warman [Edit]