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»For The Love« by Arrial

Cover of For The Love

Arrial made his debut appearance on Autoplate in November 2004 with the beautiful and introspective EP “This is My Beauty, Show Me Yours” [APL026]. Now, slightly over one-and-a-half years later, he once again blesses us with a magical blend of classical style guitar, meticulously plucked notes, programmed beats, and subtle electronics in his full length release “For the Love” consisting of nine reflective tracks.

These nine compositions are emotive and their melodies carry feelings of nostalgia, guilt, regret, love, loss, hurt, and longing. The ever so delicate electronics are pleasant and add an additional texture of expression in between the filigrane and detailed guitar picking. The title has a twofold meaning:

First, it’s a message to his newborn son: most of the tracks were written in anticipation of his birth. Secondly, it’s directed towards the “amateur” (in any endeavor) - that person who does something for the love of it without the expectation of payment. Among his sources of inspiration, Arrial identifies Leonard Cohen, the classical guitarist Francisco Tarrega, and the UK-based electronic music artist, DJ, and record producer Chicane as being especially significant. A few words follow about each of these tracks.

“Tomorrow I Start My Homework” is a reluctant opener, yet full of intense Emotions, that carries with it that slight pang of guilt one gets when he should have been doing one thing out of necessity but instead was doing something else for purely selfish reasons. It glides into the second song “I Predict a Quiet”, a variation inspired by a popular song by a highly regarded English Rock/Pop band from Leeds known as the “Kaiser Chiefs”. Arrial’s version can be interpreted as his point of view of their signature hit “I Predict a Riot” which was a song about weekend violence in a British town. Arrial’s first-hand experience of that kind of violence in his own home town makes his version of the song especially poignant. The minimalist electronic percussion focuses attention on the careful guitar melodies that add an introverted tension to the song. “Around” is a self-descriptive piece based on a catchy circular guitar riff. Orbiting around this riff are layers of beautiful melodies, programmed percussion, and lightly distorted textures of electronics. On to “Scribble”, a brief, playful interlude with a bluesy feel. As Arrial describes it - “a short scribble thrown together to break things up and be a bit light-hearted.”

The mid part of the album is built upon “Marpaksses” and “Bitch, Where’s The Guns?” Marpaksses, which translates roughly from Greek into “you grabbed me”, reflects the energy and emotion felt while pursuing someone you desire. A never ending circular game of desire and pursuit, musically transposed with alternating tempi, followed by the calm of capture or as Arrial succinctly puts it - “post-coital cigarette.” The inspiration for “Bitch, Where’s The Guns?” came from an article by a reporter traveling with an Army unit in Iraq in 2004. Before searching a house, American soldiers were supposed to deliver the following message: ‘We are very sorry for the inconvenience, but we must search your house to make sure you are safe from anti-Iraqi forces.’However, the real scenario was more like this: ‘After kicking in the door of a randomly selected house, a startled woman hears a soldier scream in English, “Where’s your black mask?” and “Bitch, where’s the guns?”’ This song stands out within the album context as a barely suppressed uproar whose protest-expressions are made audible by a fast tempo, low-key chords and moving melodies.

The later part of the album is formed by “No Good (start the chill)”; Arrial’s take on a classic mid-1990’s Prodigy song. He loved the “power, darkness, and exultation” of the song and wanted to do a “more Arrial-style chilled version of it.” “Terminal 4” is a tribute to London Heathrow Airport whose Terminal 4 is used for most long-haul flights. For Arrial, it’s a symbol of escape and refuge “to warm beaches on distant shores.” The foundation of the song is based on a riff like the one used on the track “Mar, Revistar” from his previous Autoplate release. “Farewell Again” is an emotionally distressing finale of loss and renewal - “it is about losing someone that you care for very much, and have lost (and won back again) many times in the past.” To quote L. Annie Foerster: “As far as our love flows; as far as our hope grows”. The message becomes clear.

/Larry Johnson

Netlabel: Autoplate
Release Date: 2006-06-26
Release-ID: apl038
Music Style: AMBIENT
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