Christoph El Truento – what we used to know
a1 - rā
a2 - travelling
a3 - there are other worlds they have not told you of
a4 - mo0on birds
a5 - dreams of colour
a6 - liquid sunshine
For my son // sun Rākai // Rā.
Christoph El Truento’s debut album, what we used to know, is born of change and confusion, and sounds utterly incredible for it. The deeply talented 24-year-old New Zealander started writing back in 2011 at the time his son was born. Tired fatherhood, personal upheaval and artistic indecision would actually help show Christoph a clear path towards completing the record – a transcendant sweep of synths, samples, organic instrumentation and window ledge field recording that gently reveals new layers of sonic texture and emotion to the listener.
The elegant stillness of intro ra, dedicated specifically to Christoph’s child, is a mesmerising sign of things to come. Tracks such as autumn, with its pensive interplay between trumpet, acoustic guitar and tree breeze, and the title number, sprinkling atmospheric percussion and FX over warm synthscape, are beautifully serene. But there are powerful, if subtle shifts in mood and tone. mo0onbirds delivers quirk ‘n’ rumble via smart rewind riffs and punchy sub-bass, dreams of colour plumbs new jagged, electro-pulsing depths and, at a decidedly faster clip, the euphoric raindance revels in its gradually intensifying percussion and cascading synths.
Christoph El Truento is seriously up-and-coming, his unique, forward-thinking vibes sitting comfortably within a country where so much original electronic music is currently being produced and starting to impact around the world. He issued his first release, EP01, in 2011, a clued-up mix of nu-soul, future funk and leftfield beats, and followed with the equally well-received Sunflower in 2012. Christoph has explored other musical ideas in local underground groups AtPeace and Some Other Planets, as well as producing for rated Kiwi artists and collectives including Homebrew Crew and Mara TK, but is now calmly focused on building his extremely promising solo stock.
With what we used to know, Christoph has created a beautiful, free-flowing collage of sound that taps into personal emotions and stories but remains wide open for others to interpret and digest as they wish and need to. Breathing life in from his open window and exhaling it into some seriously heartfelt studio production, Christoph’s remarkable vision is both intimate and spectacular; both subtle and panoramic; both the artist and listener’s game-changing adventure. That’s what we know NOW....