Song of the day: MURCOF – Memoria (2002)

“Memoria” is the opening track to Murcof’s debut album Martes (Leaf), a release that announced the arrival of a very special talent. Murcof is the nom de plume of Mexican electronica composer/producer Fernando Corona. He operates in a similar field to Susumu Yokota, blending minimal beats with classical samples. “Memoria” is both one of his finest tracks and one of the most typical. The piece is underpinned by a glitchy, rolling techno beat – urgent but understated. Over this there are snatches of a gorgeous but fragmented cello melody. It sounds simple, but the detail in the sound is fantastic with each little micro-squelch and blip adding to the overall picture. Nothing in Murcof’s soundworld is overdone, but the attention to detail means that there is always far more going on than on your average ambient piece. Indeed, this isn’t really ambient music, as it pays to pay attention rather than to use the music as background. Corona’s sense of fun is never too far from the surface. All of the tracks bar one on his first LP begin with the letter M. The part remix, part new material album Utopia followed two years later, and then in 2005 there was the magnificent Remembranza – possibly his finest collection yet – whose tracks all began with an R. A fourth set is due later this year called Cosmos. It seems that he plans a further two albums, and then? I would unreservedly recommend all of Murcof’s work to anyone who has a taste for intelligent, inquiring and emotional electronic music.

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