‘Se•pa•ra•ción’ is the third album from Bristolian (by way of Barcelona) producer, Foregoing his usual experimental trickery, the album sees snooK strip it right back to 10 tracks of solo piano. What Zoon retains within his modus operandi, is the technique of building each song around the melody, rhythm or soundscape of far-flung field recordings.
Deft, yet weighty, piano progressions lilt, twist and crescendo through nostalgia and defiance, set amid the texture of beguiling field recordings taken of Southern and Central America in 2018. Whether it be a Peruvian quena played in the Andes, a Mayan flute with mesmerising natural reverb bouncing around the pyramids in Mexico; or a vocal story from within the Brazilian favelas, this is a truly remarkable collection.
snooK explains the thinking behind the record:
The writing of the album – each song being based around differing ideas of separation – was informed by the previous two years of my life, where hitherto I had been living in Catalunya – a region beset with the overhanging phantom of independence and the perceived fine line of nationalism, which unavoidably arises as a by-product of these sentiments. All of this set against the unmentionable ‘B’ word back in the UK, unfolding like a soiled sleeping bag that was bestowed but never requested.
These sociopolitical situations also seemed to backdrop a number of personal setbacks over this period, each galvanising a sense of isolation and the overall theme of separation. Whether it be the break down of a relationship; detachment; isolation; or the death of a parent, these periods in our lives that test us and lay us low can provide the background hum that, though at times seems deafening and unmanageable, can provide the underlying base note from which to create harmony.
Having spent a year in the Middle East – where I also travelled the region meeting musicians (that’s for a future project…) – I left in order to travel around South and Central America, taking field recordings as I went, which I knew would form the backbone of a new record that I would write upon my return to the UK.
I wanted to strip everything back with this record and focus solely on the one instrument; there’s something utterly mesmeric and trance-inducing about sitting on your own, with just the resonance and overtones of a grand piano for company.”