2MUCHACHOS – FORMANTA (PARALLAX SOUNDS, 2010)

We at the TOME, you see… we’re lovers. We like music. Lots of it. Sure there’s lots of stuff we don’t like, but we don’t really feel like it’s worth it (for anyone—us, artist, reader) to sit here, nerdily in front of our computer screens while we pretend to work our day jobs, ranting and raving about something you probably won’t even bother to check to see if we were “right” or not. Our hope, in approaching the music blogging realm in this fashion, is that just maybe you’ll trust us, if even once. Trust us that the music you find on Tome to the Weather Machine is at least worth a spin. So when we post multiple times about an artist, it should be an indication that said artist is worth at least one of these listens. This time, I implore—NAY—I beg of you… give this Cherepovets, Russia-based ambient/electroni-folk trio a chance if you haven’t already. We’ve posted twice about 2muchachos humble, sun-streaked naturalism already this year, and when Parallax Sounds graciously sent over the final mix of Formanta… it was just a no-brainer. 2muchachos, while confirming and affirming them, has also completely obliterated my expecations. Formanta is, without question, one of 2010’s finest full-length offerings from any man, woman, child, band, ghost, alien, wolf, dog, bird or tree.

Once again drawing on the obvious influence of Icelandic slow-core, Formanta shifts the band’s overall aesthetic downward. Everything on the album, despite their characteristic rising arpeggios in the synth lines that once symbolized light and warmth for the band, has 2muchachos preparing for winter. April brought us Prespring and with it unbridled optimism and comfortable warmth. July brought us Summer Vacation and with that, those sweltering coma-induced lazies. And now, it’s colder, the days are shorter, we’re bundling up… it’s a bit sad, a bit nostalgic, but ultimately, it’s time to get to work: Fall. Back to school. The album collects music the band has been working on for over two years, and Formanta definitely feels the benefit of the careful consideration that goes hand-in-hand with this kind of time. Everything on Formanta feels much more fully realized. Tones are molded, sculpted and panned across channels, and there’s simply a lot more of them, the band mixing and matching individual sounds with precision and grace in a way that still comes out hopelessly simple. There’s a broader sense of progression here with concern to volume in particular, but also in terms of space, timing, and timbre, all of these elements brilliantly executed to make songs like “Vremja Tepla” swell to heights that will take your breath away. Like climbing a giant cliff just to jump off; it’s exhausting, exhilarating… and it might just kill you. Previously-available tracks like “Dreaming Girl” (which first appears as an acoustic version on Prespring) come to form beautiful full-muchacho arrangements with chiming bells and tip-toeing electronic rhythms that sneak around synths, like the dreaming girl is playing hide-and-go-seek with herself.

This is the perfect record to watch the sun’s prominence fade with daylight-savings just around the corner. Grab your coat, your hat, your mittens, your sled, catch the Northern Lights if you can or at least a full moon, and dream your way through March. 2muchachos is there to hold your hand through it… yeah, it’s going to be a tough winter, but it’ll be beautiful and fun, too… just you wait.

Crawf

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