Charity Empressa

Charity Empressa

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A complex and enveloping drone project from the Lassie Foundation's Eric Campuzano, Charity Empressa create ethereal soundscapes of almost indescribable beauty. Though featuring a healthy dose of drone aesthetic, most tracks feature strangely hypnotic countermelodies and counter-rhythms, combining for a densely layered mass of floatingly pristine sounds. When adding more noticeably human elements, such as with the dead-on Radiohead whistling wind tunnel sounds of "May the Good Lord Find You," with vocals that Thom Yorke would probably even mistake for his own, Campuzano manages not to sacrifice his lofty production ambitions for cheap accessibility. As one of the few openly Christian artists actually finding musical transcendence to parallel his religious convictions, Campuzano masterfully sculpts his sonic creations, whether incorporating icy trumpet solos or wild tribal drumming, into a distinctively modern sound. Although few tracks seem to have much of a steady rhythm, the nasal Appalachian harmonies of the clicking "Shake Your Money Maker" is a vibrant exception, as well as a strange merging of musical traditions. Overall, if Campuzano was trying to capture what it must sound like to walk towards the light during a near death experience, he succeeded in his first attempt.

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