Standing tall on Kompakt’s Pop Ambient compilation back in 2003, Leandro’s lush ambient sound set the precedent and style for what is now a remarkable ongoing series for the German label. It was tracks like Leandro Fresco’s, ‘Buenos Amigos‘ that really took my love for ambient music up a notch, and also opened my eyes to this new style of deep, heavily textured electronic ambient music. It’s an understatement to say how proud I am to have such a remarkable producer contribute to the Places Series.
Fast-forward ten years, and last week Leandro gave us a gentle reminder of his beautiful, warm ambient style, with this mix for Sgustok Magazine. And as if timing couldnt be any better, we’re now treated to Leandro’s latest masterpiece for The Places Series.
Patagonia’s always held a personal fascination. With a small, Welsh-speaking population over 7,000 miles away from Wales, it’s an odd displacement, but for the 5,000 that speak Patagonian Welsh, it’s undoubtedly home.
It’s a theme that poignantly plays out for Leandro Fresco – the lure of his parents’ house providing the happy, creative escape from the frenzy of Buenos Aires. “I wrote this song in a beautiful small city in Argentinian Patagonia where my parents live,” he explains. “This has been my favourite place to write for a long time, a place where I can escape from Buenos Aires.”
And it was this transition from the hustle of the Argentine capital to the serenity of Patagonia’s San Martin De Los Andes that helped provide the snowy inspiration for ‘Almas Sin Prisa’ (‘Souls without Haste’).
“I remember sitting in my room facing the window, watching the snowflakes fall and improvising on the keyboard,” Leandro reminisces. “Looking through the glass, I saw two people walking away in the storm, holding hands. These were the first minutes of the night when the sun was just beginning to hide and I kept on thinking about who these strangers were.”
This sense of the unanswered lends ‘Almas Sin Prisa’ a baleful, blissful feel. Beautifully layered, you can almost feel the weight of the snowfall cloud your line of vision, those first delicate snowflakes amassing to become tumbling white walls; the delicate movement and feather-light melodies conveying a distance as they gracefully drift away; the subtle drone lending a dreamy finale as the snowy silhouettes fade out to white.
“I’ll never know,” he smiles, “but while the music played, and I drank my cup of tea, I was happy to be in the warmth of my home and glad that I saw this simple show. Just two people in the storm. Just two souls without haste.”
(Place introduction by Reef Younis)