It is impossible to listen to Leonardo Rosardo's "Dream On" and remain unmoved. The light touch with which Rosado lovingly blends his recordings is so captivating that, although the album is a scant 20 minutes long, the listener becomes irrevocably wrapped up in it as a willing participant and floats dreamily through its sounds.
Beginning with a deep, quavering drone, "Rebuilding the Dream" features warm wooden pulsings, gentle water drippings, and achingly light, hovering pitches. The radiant tension wrapped up in these sounds is a muted melancholy, a shuffling wariness, shifting in and out of focus.
"Dream On" hums deeply and evolves into an opening, welcoming drone. Two soft percussive elements knock brush against each other, birds chirp, and . Dripping with rich affection, Rosado's sounds are as softly blended as watercolors and as vibrant as a photograph. Electronic glitches interrupt the frequencies like fragments of missing memories, feet and keys stumble through, and a high pitched ring echoes into a fadeout.
Unlike the sundrenched prior tracks, "Wiped Out" sputters to wistful, restless life with static and cold metallic whirs. Distant, perfunctory heels stepping impregnate the track with darkness, and the footsteps morph into misshapen copies of themselves, leaving only a tiny, blemished drone that acts as a pinhole of light over the hollows that threaten to extinguish it entirely.
"Sleepless Murmur" captures all of the uneasy gloom and resignation of the insomniac tortured by anxieties half forgotten. Night oozes through in a deep bass, and the inky midlevel drones are held aground by low pitch. The resultant watery dirge seems to take on a life of its own that wishes equally for sunlight or oblivion. The track's lack of shimmering field recordings sets it apart from the others, further adding to the semi-conscious impressions of sound.
All in all: "Dream On" is a beautiful introduction to an artist whose work is exquisitely difficult to pigeonhole. The sounds present are warm, swelling with joy and sorrow, and Rosado entwines them all together intricately, inviting us, rather than pushing, to listen with an open mind and receptive soul.
Find "Dream On" on Audio Gourmet, £.40 for download (or free here). Find more of Leonardo Rosado's 'wordsoundscapes' on his Tumblr.