CD, Thisco, 2006
Experimental music often emphasizes the fact that you don’t need formal musical training to create it. However, in Samuel Jerónimo’s second full album “Rima” he proves to us that formal music training can come in handy.
“Rima” offers four long tracks (all over nine minutes) of beautiful droning electronics and organs. Jerónimo takes a seemingly minimalist approach, but unlike many of the early minimalist composers his music does not get stale and seem vastly dragged out (one note can only stay interesting for so long…). My personal favourite piece is “Verso 3” which includes disorienting electronics and droning vocals, to which I found myself getting absorbed in its 15 minute duration length. “Verso 4” is what would be the product of your local church organist deciding to do something interesting for a change and probably give up the whole Jesus thing in the process. I’d recommend listening to “Verso 1″ and Verso 3” with headphones to be able to notice all the subtle shifts in the electronic soundscapes.
All in all I don’t feel Jerónimo brings forth anything brand new or innovative in the field he’s working in. But he obviously knows what he’s doing and is damn good at it. The fact that he switches back and forth between tracks of more flat-out electronics and organ music keeps him from becoming just another person who does “experimental music”. The production work is superb and seemingly (at least to my ears) unflawed.
Those who are fans of minimalist composers like Steve Reich will probably find themselves in somewhat famillar territory and will not be easily disappointed. If you find that a lot of the early Minimalist and Drone composers don’t have enough going on in their music, Mr. Jerónimo takes it up a notch in just the right way, that it has enough going on to keep it interesting, but without being too chaotic. However if you have a short attention span and think you’ll be sitting there waiting for the beat to kick in, this probably is not music you would easily get into.
— Charlie Martineau