Mexico City’s Amor Muere brings together a host of stellar artists – Mabe Fratti, Gibrana Cervantes, Concepción Huerta, and Camille Mandoki – and on their debut, A time to love, a time to die, possibility swirls endlessly before fading from view. Mixing various styles and approaches, the quartet blends divergent soundscapes into compelling narratives. Sometimes on A time to love, a time to die, it’s like we’ve taken flight and can see entire worlds beneath us, but other moments feel impossibly small and vulnerable. Amor Muere’s skill in connecting these with silver threads leaves me in awe.
Four shorter pieces make up the A-Side, opening at the intersection of haunted and whimsical with the incredible “LA.” Dancing string work from Fratti guides everything forward with a bouncing cadence, with Cervantes violin swirling with synths and vocals in psychedelia-tinged patterns. Mandoki’s voice is a beacon from beyond, transcending the gravity pulling this music downward. As an opener, it grabs us immediately, and A time to love, a time to die never lets go.
Huerta stretches amorphous sonic gauze throughout these songs, adding texture and depth that bring each piece into focus. “Can we provoke reciprocal reaction” boomerangs through intricate, evolving spaces. Vocal melodies are a transfixing potion, overtaken by Fratti and Cervantes’s intertwining dance, but it’s all wrapped in the synthetic waves Huerta weaves. She aids the darkness with morphing synth arrangements and textured, crunching beats on “Shhhhh” while the strings tear apart the underlying aural fabric.
Everything comes to a head, and eventually to an end, on side-long closer, “Violeta y Malva.” Cryptic atmospheres pull ethereal tones into distorted, dystopian corridors where the coalesced aural strands begin to break apart. These sonic environments are immersive, inviting spaces where thoughts drift and heavy emotions linger. Granular points promise new ways ahead. GRM-esque soundworlds rise from globular timbres creating fluttering movements and endless wonder. A time to love, a time to die is a testament and celebration, showing the heights these four remarkable artists can climb.