Monday, 12 October 2020

FRANKIE REYES — ALMA DE LA PALMA

⌾ LISTEN TO FRANKIE REYES, ALMA DE LA PALMA ⌾

Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker — perhaps beter known for his label Gifted & Blessed and making house music as GB — has a string of musicmaking aliases. One of these is Frankie Reyes, the name behind the wonderful 'Alma De La Palma' — a fuzzed-out dappling of emotive notes 'n' chords for a sort of supercharged classical-minimalist lounge music.

With its soft and muted textures, the bold stretches of delay further heightening its languorous glimmering feel, the scattering of sweeping notes, 'Alma De La Palma' feels as though you're looking down and something through water. The rippling surface skews the scene; a hint of warped beachside heat, too hot to move, sparkles around the edges.

The notes themselves, a distant disoriented tumble of longing, pull classical music through the portal of time, leaving the wooden depth and angularity of the piano behind and exchanging it for the magic of circuitry. And in the minor chords and descending notes of Frankie Reyes piece, there is something reminiscent of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 aka 'Moonlight Sonata'; a sense of being tethered to something vital that, once close at hand, has moved on and away.

Here we have a sort of contemporary vision of the Beethoven standard. It was called "a nocturnal scene, in which a mournful ghostly voice sounds from the distance" by the composer's student (and composer in his own right) Carl Czerny. While Frankie Reyes' piece may not be "mournful", there is a lamenting feel that shapes it as similar in tone.

Less highly regarded, but no less atmospheric, the Castle Theme from 1990 SNES game Super Mario World — complete with the soft somersaulting of synthesised keys — is something else that 'Alma De La Palma' is aesthetically akin to. The Frankie Reyes track bubbles with this same, now retro, subdued and synthetic sound, and twinned with its classical, if not romantic flair, this is a song that captivates not just with its intoxicated effects, but also with its heartfelt composition.


  • 🔔 'Alma De La Palma' is taken from Frankie Reyes' forthcoming album Originalitos, set for release via Stones Throw Records on 23rd October. You can pre-order the album and listen to 'Alma De La Palma' over and over again on Reyes' Bandcamp.

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