Flako's nomadic approach to music is immediately evident on 'Natureboy' - reliant on flux, on space, his creations are inter-continental, never resting within the boundaries of one singular influence or locale.
In essence, 'Natureboy' is a love letter to the natural world told through adept sonic flourishes. There is some subtle underground accessibility at play here, however, not a total departure from Flako's previous production work.
'Kuku', a hypnotic and echo-laden affair with bumbling claps and reverb, is a true signifier of the more corporeal nature of Flako's music at present - less reliant on the hip hop sensibilities that characterised Dario Rojo Guerra's earlier output.
The conventions haven't disappeared altogether. In fact, throughout the LP there's a locked groove apparent, weaving its way through the introspective narrative of the album.
There is no one individual track that doesn't leave its own characteristic trace, and certainly some pack more of a punch than others: take 'Shipibo Icaro' and its Arca-esque soundscape tackling spirits and shamans in a cyber age.
'Golden High' and 'Payaso' serves as a sort of continuum, similar in tone and theme, leaving traces of melancholic and moodier undertones as if Guerra is mourning the decline of the natural world to man-made creations.
Intentional or not, from the middle of the LP through to the end the pace decelerates, with Flako utilising live instrumentation and guitar refrains on the Dirg Gerner-assisted 'With Me Now'.
Sometimes a raw emotional inclusiveness is missing and what should be a personal ode to earthier incarnations gets lost in repetitive studio trickery. This is a very minor gripe, however; 'Natureboy' serves as an adept education on equilibrium, an accomplished piece of artistry which is prolific in its worldly influence but never self-indulgent enough to get lost in it.
Words: Shahzaib Hussain
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