Published Nov 19, 2019Gigi Masin is making his return with a new full-length, and to prove the veteran Italian ambient maestro is still brimming with fresh sonic ideas, it's a sprawling double album.
The effort is titled Calypso, and it will arrive on February 28 via R&S sublabel Apollo Records. Right now, though, you can hear the album's stunningly fragile title track down below.
The album marks the first solo effort from Masin since 2018's KITE, though earlier this year he released the collaborative project Postcards from Nowhere alongside Jonny Nash.
A press release offers the following of Calypso:
The LP is inspired by the mythical Greek island of Ogygia and its alleged real life counterpart Gavdos — also known unofficially as Calypso — a place of extreme beauty, which upon visiting had a profound effect on the musician."
The other keys to Masin's creation are Homer's Odyssey, James Joyce's Ulysses and Byron's Childe Harold, all of which feature the tale of the goddess-nymph Calypso, who imprisoned king Odysseus on Ogygia for seven years.
The aqueous and sky-filled vistas of his native Venice are deeply intrinsic, but the best and simplest way to describe Calypso's sound might simply be Aegean, as every track takes you directly and vividly there — to timeless Greek beauty, glistening seas, picturesque landscapes and the sun's bright, balmy heat.
But, much more than just pleasant dapples of twinkling of audio balm, Calypso is music of the gods, goddesses and heroes, subliminally capturing all the celestial beauty, awe, romance and adventure of an epic saga.
The album – like the island itself – evokes a sense of intrigue, hinting at the dark and dangerous, made mellow with centuries of age, but still just palpable through the sands of time.
In a statement, Masin further expanded on the ambitious album's themes.
"Gavdos gives you profound sensations in every corner, as here you can find enchantment, mystery, the getting lost to forget, to erase and drown the memories in a light and salty water," he said. "A place new and ancient, between cedars that have seen exiles, pestilences, blood and desperation, isolation and abandonment, it's the absolute of a life that every heart in love seeks, desperately, in the arms of Calypso, divine among the goddesses. An infinite love, and the infinite horizon of our dreams."
As for the gear used to craft the new album, Masin explained that he made the record using "the same old software, a simple, sort of a child-proof game from the mid-'90s or what experts call a 'beta'. It's a kind of mixer where you have to insert the music files as they are, naked and simply as recorded. But it works like I have 6 or 8 tape recorders where my sounds are not locked, so my chance of giving them a perfect position isn't always certain. Often it seems the sound found its own way without human logic, and the music appears as a revelation."
Calypso will arrive as a double-LP vinyl set, on CD and digitally. You can now pre-order the release.
B2. Khalifa Golf Club
B3. Mayo Slide
B4. Susan Maybe
C3. How To Disappear In A Kiss
C4. Cry Winds Or Flames
D1. Enter Venus
D2. On Demons And Diamonds (with Ben Vince)
D3. The Water Sibyl
D4. Your Name Is My Infinite