Juan Torregoza: Sunshower (2022) EP

Aside from his solo work, the New York based Juan Torregoza is also one half of the experimental project ‘Dovie Beams Love Child’ and a member of a Dub/Metal/Reggae outfit ‘Subtropico Militia Heavy Sound’. The six track instrumental ‘Sunshower’ (18:13 runtime) is Torregoza’s fifth and latest solo release since his 2011 debut ‘The Climbing Rose’. It was recorded mostly at the Tower Studios in UWS and was heavily influenced by a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. The guitar-driven Sunshower combines elements of reggae, art rock, and ambient.

‘Ulan sa Joshua Tree’ starts off with laid back, steady drums and two electric guitars, one rhythmic and the other melodic, which loops for the minute-long intro. At 1:09, the two guitars drop off to be replaced by a metallophone instrument whose new and lovely tone makes the melody sound completely fresh while a guitar plays a slowed down and abbreviated version of the original melody, and a smooth bass plays its own unique little riff that’s the perfect tonal offset. The last minute repeats the intro while in the last ten seconds a bass calmly closes the song.

The title track opens with a tonally rich droning guitar that continues underneath everything else until 2:11 while another guitar plays a picking pattern. Background drums and bass come in at 0:20. A melodic guitar comes in at 0:40 and a pedalled guitar plays in tandem to the melodic guitar, ornamenting its pauses at the end of phrases which sounds amazing. An ambient noise comes in subtly at 2:08 and by 2:33 its the only thing left, leading into the reggae section that follows with dampened guitar chords providing the rhythmic backdrop for the shimmering vibraphone to shine forth the melody with its dreamy-desert tones. The drums die out at 5:06 and the guitar does likewise a few seconds later, leaving the final twenty seconds to an ambient fade-out, which is such a natural and satisfying way to end the song. There’s something very organic about this EP, which brings to the listeners mind such images as a night sky full of stars, or a forest teeming with songbirds, or perhaps even Joshua Tree National Park itself if one has been there, or any National Park for that matter. Sunshower manages to express a specific landscape, but because each listener will bring their subjectivity to the music, so the landscape that one hears and envisages will depend and change based on their lived experiences. Some might hear a cityscape, others an ocean, others a forest, others a sky, but these are all landscapes, and in this way Sunshower contain the particular and the universal.

‘La Ritournelle (cover)’ is a cover of Sébastien Tellier’s much acclaimed song. Torregoza’s version is slowed down with sparser drums, yet it maintains the feel of the original. It’s also guitar driven as opposed to the originals drum, bass, piano, and strings emphasis. Torregoza’s version sounds vastly different from the original and he made it wholly his own in the best way possible. Whereas the original is almost eight-minutes long, Torregoza’s is just under two-minutes long. Despite being a cover, it sounds like it belongs on Sunshower just as much as all of the other songs on the album.

If you like Sunshower by Juan Torregoza then be sure to check out his many previous releases! And follow him on Instagram to keep up to date with old and new happenings:

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