Boa Morte – The Total Space (Vinyl)
Release date: March 3rd Label: Gard du Nord, (London, UK)
The Total Space sees Boa Morte edge deeper into the woods of ambient, drone and synthesised
sound with little to guide them but their innate melodic compass and instinct for unorthodox song.
Deeper, but not too deep. Daniel Presley, the perma-nomadic Texan producer, flew in to safeguard
the Boa Morte fundamentals: emotive yet unsentimental vocals; a disquieting ease with space and
silence; percussive interventions on drum-shell, tom-rim and cymbal-cup; an abhorrence of rhythm
guitar; harmonies that add rather than dilute personality, and a bloody-minded patience when it
comes to pacing.
To disrupt the fundamentals, Boa Morte employed several strategies. A more open-ended recording
process allowed home-studio, band-room and attic recordings to compliment the core Black
Mountain tapes. Often unable to meet in-person the band bounced ideas around on laptop
platforms; outros and intros took shape, evolving over time, and whole song segments were
overhauled or even deleted. The results: a collection of the best Boa Morte songs to date; songs that
gently envelop drones, melodic interludes and found-sounds, often within the same track.
Also, the band worked closely with composer Justin Grounds to include elements of modern
composition. Repetition, a minimalist mindset, structural fluidity and a keener appreciation of sound
for its own sake – these, the band discovered, are features that the Boa Morte style absorbs
The process demanded more expressive gear, but the tweaking was surprisingly fun. By the final mix,
this once lo-fi band had succumbed completely and Juno 106, Deepmind 12 and something called
the TC Plethora X5 infiltrated every single track, vying for attention with electric instruments, felt
piano and smatterings of trumpet and strings.
So this record does sound different. From their early beginnings on a small record label run by
Teenage Fanclub’s Francis MacDonald, Boa Morte have found their voice on an album that might be
a cosmic distress-signal, or a remote aural beacon or might, just might encapsulate The Total Space.
The Total Space is out on the 3 rd March 2023 on all formats on Gare du Nord records.