The new release from anrimeal, Could Divine, Remembered, has the artist revisiting their 2020 album Could Divine and is described as an “audio documentary.” It is part remix and partly a peek behind the curtain at how it was put together. But this is not just the workings in the margin as it works as a release in its own right. If Could Divine is an island, then Could Divine, Remembered is a boat trip round the archipelagos that surround it.
Anrimeal is the portmanteau recording name of Ana Rita de Melo Alves and debut album Could Divine was one of the many fertile projects that grew out of the tainted earth of lockdown. It opens with a monologue on ‘Hello And a Half’ contains the line “I can’t think of anyone more inadequate to speak of nature than me; a spectator living off a room. This album isn’t about my going into the wild but rather about being in a tight room and finding a window”. Monologue cedes to strings and the journey into the musical substance of the album begins.
Track 2, ‘Encaustic Witches As An Ambient Track To Help Me Sleep’, beautifully captures the floating sensation you get when sleep begins to wash over you. Track 3 ‘I Am Not An Old Rehearsal’, as with track 8, ‘anrimeal_s Real Breather’ are little adjuncts on the album, like a quick glance away from the music to catch a tiny moment in Ana Rita’s life. Track 4 is a version of ‘Elegy For An Empty Ocean’ which has been remixed by The Silver Field (Coral Rose), one of my favourite artists of 2020, and she has applied her love of elongated loops to great effect on this track (video at the bottom of this review). Track 5, ‘Headrest, A Story About Feeling’, contains dialogue about the song’s genesis and track 6, ‘Could Flower’, is an exquisite and gentle demo with an edgy, almost unsettling, string effect. Track 7, ‘Horizontal (prod. Xqui)’, is an excerpt of Xqui’s remix of ‘Vertical‘ from the debut album and final track, ‘Death Is A Burning Ritual’, marries a field recording with Ana Rita voicing self-reflective statements such as “I am not my idea of myself”, “I am an enabler of life and the small things of every day” and “I am uncompromising in my creativity”.
Having listened to Could Divine, Remembered I went straight to Bandcamp and bought a copy of Could Divine which was a little like reverse engineering but still very rewarding as it felt like I had a watched a ‘making of…’ documentary before watching the film. I am very taken with artists like anrimeal and The Silver Field who gently subvert the song writing process and encompass the ethereal as well as the uncomfortable. Whether you want to look at this as music with art or art with music, these are timeless sounds feel like they have come from a past future or a world that is slightly out of phase with our own and personally, I love to feel gratifyingly unbalanced from time to time.
All profits from this release will be donated to Plataforma de Apoio aos Refugiados, a Portuguese refugee support organisation.
Review by Paul F Cook