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M Caye Castagnetto- Leap Second (2021 Castle Face Records)

Obscurity might not be something many artists necessarily strive for, but a certain amount of remoteness and mystique can definitely help shaping an interesting image of an artist. It forces the listener to bend the mind to an image of its own based solely on the music. There is plenty of obscurity surrounding M Caye Catagnetto. Born in Peru, the artist spent time living in Lima, London, and California during the five years creating Leap Second, and the eclecticism expected from such a background story is definitely on display here.

Just close your eyes and listen…what do you see? Leap Second feels so versatile, it’s like you are changing the channels on your TV in a foreign country. Opener Invented Disco makes me dance on the streets of Cuba drunk on something, way after the party has finished. Stopping You makes me feel the hangover afterwards, the music at times like Mars Volta at its most lethargic. Slippery Snakes is something else altogether; danceable, but jittery, like a dune buggy with the front wheels almost falling off. Mi Mentira is more serious all of a sudden, with synthesizers ominously swelling up in the end. All Points North is a fragment of beauty, with some great vocals. Amor Cabra is sexier, darker, with voices coming from all directions. Influences of hiphop are shining through now. Hand On The Business is my favorite song on here, it makes the best of those heroin-chique vocals that summon thoughts of Velvet Underground and Nico, surrounded by purple and green smoke clouds. Until is more beautifully broken pop with sweet but creepy vocals, while Street Evening Green is much more majestic, romantic feminine Radiohead synth. Chase Water Blue Moon is the longest track and the album’s closer, and turns out to be a very sad but adorable drunken cover of Blue Moon.

Leap Second is a sweet little album that you can grow to love. It shows all little nooks and crannies of M Caye Castagnetto’s imaginative brain, it will creep you out a bit, charm you, possibly haunt your fever dreams. It’s a gentle little surprise. One that will probably be overlooked by many and end up in obscurity, where the best little pearls are found.

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