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Spaniard Miguel Angel Tolosa has produced his first solo work for the terrific SOFA label in Norway after contributing to a number of other projects. Years in the making, these 10 pieces were recorded between 2012 and 2016 in Stockholm, Düsseldorf, Bonn and Madrid.
You may know Tolosa's earlier work, produced under the name Ubeboet. He produces tender, soothing ambient music that — at least on this new album, Ephimeral — comes at the listener in gentle waves. "Sol de plomo y purpura" is a standout. While properly defined as a drone work, it feels more like a minimalist choral piece. It sings without singers, and the effect is breathtaking.
This isn't all minor-chord ear candy, though. Tracks like "Musgo" and "De un pais de hierro" will challenge you. They're not abrasive, but there's plenty of texture here. Tolosa has found a way to incorporate white noise into his work without reminding you of an air conditioner.
Tolosa produces beautiful music without pandering to his audience on Ephimeral. You'll have to listen closely at times, but every one of these 10 tracks is worth the effort.