Piano Magic

Son de Mar

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AllMusic Review by

Acclaimed veteran director Bigas Luna (Jamon, Jamon) asked Piano Magic to record the soundtrack to Son de Mar (The Sound of the Sea) after hearing a song from Low Birth Weight at a record shop. Evidenced by the 38 minutes of warm, ethereal beauty found on this disc, Luna's discovery of Glen Johnson's group can be seen as the very definition of a happy accident. Johnson has said that one of the aims with Piano Magic is to provide a soundtrack for memories. The six untitled pieces here are just that. The key word is "subtle"; each track is instrumental, filled with doleful strings, repetitive and subtle melodies, ticking clocks, wordless female vocals, and breezy atmospherics like distant church bells. Small waves wash ashore and recede, just like most of the musical elements. Despite the ambient nature and the fact that it's a score to a movie (it uses elements from the group's release for Darla's Bliss Out series), Son de Mar is a hypnotic, bewitching album that warrants not just repeated plays, but full-on addiction. You don't have to be anywhere near an open window beside a shoreline on a summer day, because this takes you there. Son de Mar also doubles as the first fruits of Piano Magic's addition to the 4AD roster; one of the label's smartest moves since its inception, the versatile collective ably carries the torch for the likes of Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, and Dif Juz.

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