As far as concept albums go, Recluso’s La Tabla Periódica is one of the weirdest and most fascinating, where science and hip-hop meet to dance into a frenzy and chill out into oblivion. The last time I wrote about Recluso, he had put this ongoing project aside to create one of the best albums to come out of the San Juan scene in 2013: the humble yet beat-crushing Versus, where he took it upon himself to reversion Puerto Rican indie artists and bands like Mima, Los Vigilantes, Alegría Rampante, and Dandy and the Walkers. La Tabla Periódica returns with its third volume in 2014, but we get to preview the first single off the record in the form of “Tantalio.”
The volumes, according to Recluso’s own description on his bandcamp page, explore new mixing and sampling techniques. The first record in the series was his first foray into instrumental territory, as he’s usually known as a skilled emcee with a drum machine in tow. In Tabla Periódica Vol. 2, he experimented with found sounds he recorded from the radio on his cellphone. What’s interesting about both productions is that he manages to transmit intensity and raw emotion in each of the tracks by carefully choosing samples and giving them a new context; sometimes they’re strings, sometimes soundbites from documentaries, but they always tell a story. If “Arsenic” has a sound, it’s because of Recluso.
In “Tantalio,” he goes for the kill with the retro synths and a pulsing bass, reminiscent of West coast beats. It’s all accompanied by an image of tropicália (palm trees…THE image?), which gives the track a more subtle push into the chill.
(Photo Credit: Hardbox)