Luis Delgado is a mensch, that much we already know. Over the past five or so years, a series of revelatory reissues have revealed piece-by-piece a master of ambient sound whose key works combine technical prowess with a fluent romanticism, the electronic with the earthy, the futuristic with a rootical ethno-folk sensibility. There was a period in his mid-80s pomp where, both as a solo artist and as a collaborator, everything he touched turned to gold. Like a Spanish Eno, but less Oblique Strategies and more white pyjamas. There’s the by now canonical fourth-world, proto-Balearic dreamscapes of Finis Africae, the Vini Reilly-ish guitar-dub arabesques of his Ishinohana project with Javier Berga, the industrial electronics and end-times concrète of Mecanica Popular... I mean, that's what you call a CV.
Vathek was Delgado's solo debut, originally released on his El Cometa De Madrid label in '86, and finds him expanding on many of the ideas essayed in Finis Africae and Mechanica, while also going further down the rabbit-hole, into (bliss-out) abstraction. Exploring his interest in Eastern music, but working more than ever with machines in pursuit of its tonalities, the result is timeless, meditative music of unusual depth and mystery.
Essential. The "nice music" revival continues.