Francis M. Gri – “Boke” Album Review (dark ambient/experimental)

a3365751847_16Ambient/electronic artist Francis M. Gri comes to us today courtesy of Italian label KrisaliSound with a new release, Boke that comes with an interesting story behind it.

“Boke” is the Japanese word for saying blur and mental confusion.  As the artist notes, In 2013 a person very close to me was diagnosed with what I call the memory disease.  So, I decided to record this album to find a sort of relief in my soul and to make people aware about this painful disease.”

The album contains four tracks, all of which are curiously clocked at 10:07 and are labeled “Loneliness,” “Lost,” “Void,” & “Disappearing.”   “Each track is a degenerative phase of this malady that in 2020 has no cure and is becoming every day more widespread.”

For the duration of the album, there exists  a backdrop that bears resemblance to the likes of a seaside view watching distant ships depart.  It’s a very minimalist plane but one that lends itself to the element of discomfort that the artist no doubt was trying to convey.  With that said, concerning the “memory disease,”  if the artist was trying to paint a canvas herein where they reflect on the nostalgic feelings and the mixture of happy and sad emotions that people with such diseases no doubt have, then they did a pretty good job of conveying this.

It’s ambient but not quite dark ambient (though it could be argued that this release is indeed emotionally dark, at least in part).  One might even find some new-age elements.  But what’s intriguing is that the album very much appears (and this will sound odd) “photographic.”  That is, between the different musical elements and the atmosphere that’s presented, one can guess that this release is the emotional equivalent of viewing a museum wing one last time.

Anyway, a pretty good effort indeed that should be enjoyed by ambient and new age fans; a good, reflective journey.

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