Ricardo Donoso Assimilating the Shadow

Ricardo DonosoAssimilating the Shadow
Boston-based Ricardo Donoso's official debut album, Progress Chance, this time last year, slipped under the radar for far too many people. Sadly so, as it was a gorgeous release of beautiful synth work that deserved a wider audience, if only more people heard about it. This year, the Brazilian-born Donoso follows it up with Assimilating the Shadow, an album of equal beauty and subtlety that takes the soundscapes he gave us on Progress Chance even further. Sounding like an Editions Mego artist performing live from the Almaz space station, Donoso's latest evokes Tarkovsky's Solaris as much as any other instrumental synth music. The fragments of speech interspersed throughout several tracks risk coming across as cheesy and a little dated, but thankfully avoid doing so, instead adding to the drama and isolating feel of the album. Assimilating the Shadow is a solid record of synth work, with ambient and deep house influences, as well as a great pulse that never lets up, keeping the tension tight throughout. This is one of the most compelling and satisfying electronic albums of the year so far. (Digitalis)