Ricardo Preschel builds impressively complex and breath-takingy beautiful soundscapes around his audience on this latest EP release. The five compositions that make up the project each offer a uniquely detailed and expressive journey, feeling like a series of short films – dramatic, epic, emotional, and musically stunning. We Are The Haunted is the first piece to grace the stage and it weaves around you a feeling of glorious chaos; a grand event with some strange sense of nobility at its core. There’s a familiarity in the way everything collides and collaborates, you’ve likely experienced a similarly intense gathering of neo-classical performances, but here there’s a creative structuring and story-line that feels decidedly new and compelling.
All That Comes Before follows the opener and notably shifts the mood and the building blocks. A solo piano piece emerges, equally ambient and expressive, but distinctively personal and quite intimate. The switch from what was to what now is creates a striking contrast and draws you in all the more so – you feel right at the centre of the experience. You can turn this up loud, and it’s music for you – fit for the listener – but it’s something else as well. You can hear the passion and soul of the moment, the instance of individuality that created this performance and composition. You can appreciate the artistry of it at the same time as being grateful for the strength and escapism it offers.
Sand Castles follows on wonderfully, adding a dash of strings and a few instrumental layers that bring a fuller sound as things evolve. There’s optimism to this one, a sense of hope and gratitude, but it’s not without a rightful touch of realism and darkness.
The Dark reverts back to the multi-layered, cinematic vibrancy of the opener. The march or the war begins, perhaps the dawning of a new day but it feels a little tense and mighty – a crucial moment, a turning point, a struggle; the title would suggest this was far more accurate. The sound never veers off too heavily into a mass orchestral arena. Instead, Preschel carefully crafts each moment – paving the way for the story and the feelings associated with it. The details are thoughtfully incorporated, and despite the apparent intensity – there’s an ongoing level of delicacy that you really come to appreciate within the journey. This piece is quite magnificent in how unpredictable and artistic it turns out to be. It begs for you to listen more than once and to really let yourself and your mind relax and let go as the music guides the moment.
Closure appears with a somewhat vintage aura from the offset. The title gives a little context, but as always – it’s left to the listener to decide where things really go from here. This piece builds slowly, but as a complete soundscape – it’s an incredible experience to have it surround and envelop you. This is one of the most genuinely original compositions I’ve stumbled upon in quite some time. Whenever you get complacent or come to think you know how things will be, the piece redirects you almost entirely – the details, the mood, the instrumentation – nothing is as it seems and yet everything works perfectly in making this an entrancing and memorable encounter.
The written word can’t really do it justice. Listen loud and through crisp, clear speakers or headphones. This EP in full is a powerful, refreshing and immersive collection of compositions. Ricardo Preschel offers a natural balance between professionalism, skill, and sheer creative passion. Well worth embracing.