Jefre Cantu-Ledesma : Shining Skull Breath
To be completely honest, I am somewhat conflicted regarding my opinions on this album. While it is true that “Shining Skull Breath” is a blissful journey into the realm of hazily distorted drones and textures, it also suffers from the same problem that a lot of bands in this genre suffers from: a crippling lack of identity. Of course, my opinion of this stems from the fact that I discovered bands like Yellow Swans, Tim Hecker, Birchville Cat Motel and others before this one, whereas people who were familiar with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Fennesz, Emeralds, and others might have the exact same thing to say about the former bands.
Then again, apparently this guy has several different active projects, so maybe this work is not fully representative of his overall presentation. Furthermore, this was originally released in 2007 in a very limited edition, so perhaps his music might have change dramatically since then. Yet despite several listens, I still feel unable to really ‘warm up’ to the music in general.
Perhaps it is best to say that there is an over-saturation of drone bands with this type of aesthetic on the market, and to be fair I also have inadvertently contributed to this influx on occasion). I believe all of these bands have validity, but it is really hard to say whether any of them are ESSENTIAL listens or not. In any event, if you are a huge fan of any of the bands listed above, you will probably enjoy this album, but if you (as I am beginning to) feel that the genre is getting vaguely overcrowded and a little stale, this album probably will not do much to change your opinion of the situation.