Rudy Ensueno‘s long-form Burundanga plays like a film-noir soundtrack. Juggling a small number of elements to carve out his piece, Ensueno builds a series of scenes, ratcheting up the tension and letting it fall, carrying us along as a great film always does.
He establishes the atmosphere right away, with metallic clanks and whooshes, giving us the impression of someone walking through a factory which is leaking lots of rain. This environment – oddly industrial and organic at the same time – underlies the entire piece.
Short bass notes dart by breathlessly, as if around our feet. A quick repeating synth sequence – like a glassy church organ – insinuates itself and begins to proliferate. Industrial sounds effects increase.
Burundanga is a series of episodes, one of them a percussive sequence – a series of double-notes sounding like a drum and a high-pitched modified marimba. Except for this short section, the music is without rhythm. Elements come and go, as the scene requires.
Episodes feature a bass synth line with mechanical whistling; some airy but creepy synth chords to increase the suspense; what sounds like a wobbling, underwater organ; a nice, reflective synth progression to let us rest, didgeridoo and finally (believe it or not) processed Jaw Harp – an instrument I’ve never heard used in this type of music. Somehow he makes it work.
My favorite section of the piece is its last. The final 20 minutes are given to a wonderful, enigmatic synth progression which takes us to the end, fading away, disclosing nothing, leaving the whole mystery unsolved – as it should be.
Rudy Ensueno is a prolific musician with a lot of terrific music available at his Relaxed Machinery and SoundCloud pages, and elsewhere. Burundanga is an excellent, mesmerizing soundtrack piece that won’t disappoint. It’s a free download available here.