Ever since becoming infatuated with his 2012 album Egress, I’ve always looked forward to anything new from The Green Kingdom, a solo project from Michigander Michael Cottone. Few artists match his deftness at blending organic and electronic sources while maintaining a delicate balance between melodic structures and textural soundscapes. He makes his first appearance on the burgeoning Past Inside the Present label with a particularly poignant release called Residence on Earth. Thematically, the album finds Cottone processing loss and reflecting on growing older while drawing inspiration from Pablo Neruda‘s book of poetry by the same name.
“As one gets older, it’s natural to think about the time you’ve spent on this planet and what you will leave behind. This was only punctuated by the unexpected loss of my aunt. At some point while crafting these pieces, I also pulled Pablo Neruda’s book of poetry Residence on Earth off the shelf. The surreal imagery and emotions these works evoke felt connected to the music on many levels, and informed the course of the album until its completion. This album is dedicated to the memory of Mary V. Mannino.” – Michael Cottone
Gently tracing an arc from “Dawn” to “Dusk”, Cottone pays particular attention to guitar lines and textures on this record, giving them ample space to shimmer and radiate the blue melancholia of the music with a potent subtlety. Particularly noteworthy is the elegiac “Fantasma”, a heartfelt piece that is as emotionally direct as anything I can recall ever hearing on a TGK record. These songs are not so much ambient soundscapes as plaintive airs and redolent meditations capable of exhuming a long-forgotten memory or inducing a wistful reverie. To sum up Residence on Earth more succinctly, it is only apt to borrow a phrase from another work of Neruda that seems fitting and call it a ‘luminous solitude’.
Residence on Earth is now available for digital download and in a cobalt blue cassette tape edition using FerroMaster C456™ super ferric, ultra-high performance type-1 music grade analog tape (limited to 50 units).