This is the last album of Andy Palacio, released a year before his death at the age of 47. I had never heard of him, but it seems he’s the most famous musician to ever come from Belize. He was its culture ambassador and was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

I really liked it. It sounds very well produced, maybe slightly too polished, but that makes it accessible and pleasant to first-time listeners. The songs are different enough between them whilst fitting well together as a whole. Like with other albums I’ve listened to during this project, it would have been amazing to see them perform live.

And… after two years of very limited travel due to the pandemic, this music is perfect to imagine yourself somewhere far away, in the sun, having a drink… (sigh).

When I think of Bahrain, I don’t think of winter. Yet, this album is called ‘Winter Stories’ and includes tracks with titles such as ‘A date with winter’ and ‘It’s raining’.

It’s an instrumental album and feels a bit like a soundtrack. It’s atmospheric, it is indeed quite wintery, and I enjoyed it. Did I feel it transported me to Bahrain? No, although this wasn’t Murbati’s intention. The choice of instruments is clearly following a Western pattern, only a couple of moments have some harmonies that could take you to the Middle East. Otherwise, it is something that resembles Yann Tiersen (especially the last number, ‘Ending Dance’).

It doesn’t sound new, but it is good, and I am looking forward to hearing more from him. I could definitely see him doing very well writing film scores.

I’ve known Fennesz’ work for several years, I just had forgotten he was Austrian, based in Vienna. I started to look through websites to find Austrian artists — to be honest, I couldn’t think of any other than classical music composers (and I was very tempted of picking a selection…

Marçal Cuberta

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