(03 February 2008) Musical Discoveries has covered Freud and other music by Alberto Hauss since the initial 1998 UK release of the stunning album Time Passengers (review). Many interested visitors have asked our editorial staff about the Hauss Terra del Sol project since our review of Selection One in 2001.
Limited edition releases of two further Terra del Sol albums pictured on the sleeve of this variouis artists release appear to have captured the attention of enthusiasts worldwide. The 2007 Freud release The Journey (review) featuring lead vocalists Maria Sanchez and Cora O'Donovan has also captured worldwide attention. Hauss and his bevy of vocalists create celtic styled music similar in sound to Enya that generally draws attention from new age and world music enthusiasts.
Music For Contemporary Living #1 (Tantajo Records (UK), 2008) is a collection of fourteen tracks very much in the Freud and Terra del Sol genre blending pure instrumental sounds with tracks featuring the stunning vocal work of Maria Sanchez or alternatively by a new female vocalist named Lalu.
Maria is featured on: "Minhas Ondas" by White Cubes, "Bossa Suave" by Cabano, and "Meltado" by Groove Inc. Lalu is featured on: "Sea Virgin" by Sono Nove and "Papua St. Tropez" by La Tienda. Producer Alberto Hauss, also actually sings lead vocals on "Records from the Attic" with RPM Syndicate. The group have played as La Tienda at gigs in Hamburg, Germany. The album has an 'island feel' to it and will make many listeners think of the last beach holiday they enjoyed.
The album opens with "Vagues du Soleil," a lovely instrumental that sets the scene for the tunes that are to follow. Warm keyboard washes reveal sunrise, a warm summer breeze while a gentle guitar-sounding melody welcomes the listener. Lalu makes her album debut with "Sea Virgin" atop soft keyboard washes and acoustic guitar singing in French. One can not help being mentally transported to the most popular holiday resorts on the Mediterranean Sea.
Ingo Hauss continues to develop the album's island theme in the upbeat instrumental "Deeper Breeze." Soft keyboard washes underscore a lovely and percussive keyboard melody. Maria Sanchez makes a stunning debut on the album in "Minhas Ondas." She sings mid range with crystal clarity but a little air in her vocalizations. The vocal mix is perfect in both lyrical and vocalise parts. Acoustic guitar and keyboards blend with light percussion in this album standout.
The track "Records From The Attic" is stylistically true to the name. Barely sung by Alberto Hauss, the rhythmic track is well arranged with crisp percussion and bass providing the foundation for sax, keyboard and guitar instrumental contributions. The track brings visualizations of a holiday dance floor. It blends perfectly into "Bossa Suave," sung delicately by Maria Sanchez with whispy intonations.
"Metro Abesses" features a memorable accordion melody performed by Lalu and--as one might expect--is appropriately French sounding as one might expect from the title. But it fits the album perfectly with rich and warm choral-sounding keyboard washes and an an offsetting acoustic guitar part. Maria returns singing at the bottom of her range, very much in a Tina Turner style, in the track "Meltado." Arranged as a rhythmic cha cha, the blend of lush keyboard washes, John Barry-styled horns and crisp percussion, the track just works.
The album continues primarily as a collection of dance oriented instrumentals. Such is the case with "Meeting Las Salinas," written by Ingo Hauss. Brass-intoned keyboards drive the melody on top of an electronic instrumental. Much warmer but equally rhythmic both in effects and keyboard arrangement is "Fleur De Lys," also written by Ingo Hauss. In contrast, "Desert Tales" is a cinematically styled track that develops its rhythm with percussion and a sharp keyboard melody.
"Moon Over Lhasa" is a rhythmic track credited to Terra del Sol. The rhythm section--bass and percussion--dominates the arrangement. Traditional and electronic instruments deliver the melody. The listener will note distinct movements within the track and it is the last of these that is warmed by soothing female vocals opposite a bright piano melody. The album concludes with the standout rhythmic and percussive Terra del Sol mix of "Garden of Love" performed by Freud. Warm layered vocals sung by Maria Sanchez combine with rich arrangements.
The album concludes with the bossa nova rhythm of "Papua St. Tropez." Layers of Lalu's vocals rise above a more sparse mix of electronic washes and traditional percussion. Music For Contemporary Living #1 is certainly an album for enthusiasts of Freud and Terra del Sol that have been unable to find some of these rare tracks in other locations. Available on iTunes exclusively for a limited period, a compact disc is expected later this year.