Having recently lost a close family member to Alzheimer’s related illnesses, I can partially sympathise and empathise with how Francis M. Gri, owner of Krysalisound label, feels with this neat new record. Boke means “Blur”, and is made to represent memory disorders and the time it takes for an image to do just that. Gri calls it “the memory illness” – it’s always dementia, Alzheimer’s or some such. Great novelist Terry Pratchett was taken from us by the latter; many its link.
On with the record itself, and this uses repetition as a narrative device. Give ’em a few rounds, then hit ’em with the boomerang. It catches us unawares. Succinctly peaceful, the album is so decent it dispenses with nom de plume’s such as “beautiful art” – I don’t want to wax insincerely about a delicate subject that has affected so many, and is being shown to put pay to Covid figures among others. What does one do when the memory is ready to pack up? Francis communicates the point well in some of my investigative email questions: “you transform in an empty box…we ARE memories it’s undeniable!”
It is like that – life is a blur, because the present is at best a memory, since memories are about dream or goal meeting, and fantasy becomes secondary. Memory loss is rife with grief, and that is presented emotionally on “Boke”. Especially that track, which closes the record. The music sounds like it comes from a very faraway place. A bit like Bvdub’s, and his recent record “Ten Times The World Lied” on Glacial Movements, of similar ilk. Directionally but not genre wise, the sombre feel of Massive Attack tracks with Tracey Thorn and the like. Those have a similar emotional trippy poignancy to them.
In its palette spectrum, much ground is covered, painting in cool blues, treading miles upon miles in a dead body’s shoes. That lifting of a classically trained surfeit, Francis working with many musicians over the years, now producing his own material most of all, has never sounded so comforting in my own rough time with with coming to terms. I can tell you now, “Boke” is destined to be a quiet memory in the back of your mind for years to come. It, like a blur, will wait for you.