If you sense a filmic quality to the wistful piano-centric style of Stories of Disintegration it is no coincidence. The album marks the debut of Swoop and Cross, a project of Portugese musician Ruben Vale who is currently based in London. The music, which was recorded between 2015 & 2017 in Cambridge, London, and Bad Gestein (Austria), was partially inspired by a particularly tender scene from a Norwegian drama that tells the story of a recovering addict.
My music is often inspired by work from others, mostly in the form of text or image. The opening track of my debut album was very much influenced by the beautiful bicycle scene of the 2011 Norwegian movie “Oslo, August 31” by Joachim Trier. In this scene the characters portrayed by Anders D. Lie hugs the character portrayed by Malin Crépin while she pedals the bicycle they are sharing. The striking genuine blend of dissonant moods between the two characters during this hug drove me to write the track “Sykkel” (Norwegian for bicycle), a song about embracing loss and commiting to abandon. – Ruben Vale, aka Swoop and Cross
“Sykkel” was first heard as a submission for Nils Frahm’s Piano Day 2017 and now opens side 2 of the vinyl edition of the full-length album which includes five other delicately wrought compositions including the impossibly gorgeous 12-plus minute showpiece “St. No”. It is an intimate journey awash in nostalgia, melancholy, and muted romanticism with nothing inchoate about its exquisite and refined presentation.
Stories of Disintegration is offered in typically lavish and eccentric bespoke packaging by Time Released Sound in two vinyl editions – standard (190 copies, the first 30 in milky clear color) and the now sold-out deluxe which came housed in a vintage, re-appropriated classical music box set collaged on the cover with Japanese prints. Digital downloads are also available via Bandcamp.