Review: L Bosco - (demos)

L Bosco - (demos)
(2017 Self-Released)

L Bosco's humble collection of demos may have been released quietly to Bandcamp without as much as a link to social media or a back catalog of material for context, but that's not to say that the Guadalajara-based shoegazer's debut release is an understated effort. The four instrumentals that make up the EP are constructed with cinematic scale in mind, piling hefty post-rock riffs atop spacey Peter Gabriel soundscapes. 

Slowly emerging from the Oxford Blue haze of a hollowed-out drum machine loop and slide guitar, "Prelude" beams filmy searchlights of guitar, their glow revealing the silhouette of a massive ocean liner creeping towards the listener. It's the sort of tense climate Robin Guthrie might create in his post-Cocteau Twins career: implying a greater, more solid sense of magnitude while working exclusively with misty textures. As acidic droplets of guitar slide down Bosco's lens - streaking and forming tinny globules - one can feel this ominous figure moving more clearly into frame before slinking back into the depths, leaving just clattering drums in its wake. Like many of my favorite post-rock acts, L Bosco hints at crescendos that never come. He forces you to take note of each compositional nuance, prepping your nervous system for the endorphin rush held in front of you like the proverbial carrot, a tidal rhythm section settling for the role of stick. 

"Piensas" deconstructs the Scottish drone of Mogwai and The Twilight Sad, piping warm mumbles into a cloud of delayed guitar pluckings and muddied analog synth. It's humidity clinging to the hair of your forearms, hanging heavy as you push through the summer heat like walking through the swimming pool.

"v nus" is the outlier of the bunch, whisking spirals of digital arpeggiation into IDM soundscapes. With a couple breakbeats thrown on top of it, the 7-minute track might fit snugly into a compilation curated by The Worst Label. On its own, it feels like the theme music meant to accompany a dystopian skyline. Or maybe it's the background music to a futuristic puzzle game sold on the App Store. Whatever image it conjures in your mind, "v nus" radiates equal parts bleakness and wonder. It's as evocative as Kraftwerk, but perhaps more indebted to 80s new-age music.

Outro cut "The T I/O scene" is a composite of all the sounds L Bosco toys with on this demo tape, and it's the most solid of the four. Fizzy snares stumble against sizzling guitar distortion, coalescing in pools of smooth jazz reflection. The tape as a whole feels more like a mirror than a picture -- passively created for active listening. Bosco keeps his art minimal so that you can apply your own vision to it. (demos) evolves alongside you.