With her third album Folksonomies, Laura Luna Castillo finds herself stranded at sea. While washed up on a chain of islands, she is forced to mold characters from malleable clay, smooth wood, and jagged rock, forming beasts and beings to help her act out her compositions. Guided by Sasha Laskowsky’s complementary album artwork, Castillo fleshes out her vision, scrupulously decorating the island’s inhabitants in hopes that the landmasses they reside on come together to form a cohesive archipelago. Subsequently, each work has a distinct personality that’s expertly refined, ripe with dimensions and contradictions as the music grows, festers, and expands, ultimately building to create a larger narrative.
Although there are moments of poignancy and warmth, Folksonomies as a whole instills a subtle sense of dread, Kierkegaardian anxiety that brings to mind the perturbing look into the abyss that occurs mid-leap. While “Ataris Bellum” ruminates on the regret that stems from fault, mourning, longing, and loss, “The Memory of the Eternal Now” focuses more on the hazy aspects of nostalgia and the inevitable loss that coincides with living. “Without Dust and Shadow” instead maintains a hopeful aura, something pensive and soothing to remind us of the beauty in life that makes us go through with it all in the first place.
Combining synthesizer and 8-bit bloops with stringed instrumentation and nature recordings, Castillo explores various moods and themes, resulting in a work that is at once emotive, intentional, and assured, dilating and expatiating in the hopes of building towards a larger and more meaningful whole.
"[Castillo's] rising tones have an immediate impact—often buttressed by a simple, subtle rhythm—but they’re also layered enough to feel reflective and even meditative."
- Marc Masters, Bandcamp Daily
"[The] 8 excellent tracks are all independent sonic journeys that carry their own ambiences, sonic imagery and subconscious meanings."
- Orlando Laman, Fluid Sonic Fluctuations
"[Castillo's] compositions pull a lot of weight as if dragging a reluctant and damaged psyche into the light. Hands down the most 'immersive' listening experience this year."
- Ryan Hall, Tome to the Weather Machine
"Folksonomies is gorgeous and quietly assured, aware of its own limits, full of feeling without ever telling you how to feel."
- Andy Cush, Spin
"Castillo’s skills are on top form on Folksonomies, which sees her crafting rich ambient instrumentals of bobbing synths and loops that shimmer effortlessly."
- Tristan Bath, The Quietus
"Though every track shares common building blocks of ambient passages, swirling synth loops, and electronic embellishment, each is a distinct audio work with its own personality and set of emotions."
- Houdini Mansions
What a talent Laura Luna Castillo is. The mix between degraded, ambient sounds, juxtaposed with almost brittle modular synth pulses is other-worldly and completely immersive. I bought this straight after buying Folksonomies. Gobbling this stuff up, Love it. bigbiggiebig