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Hugo Ibarra – Cinema Paradise LP (Balkan Connection)

Hugo Ibarra has been a fixture of the Mexican progressive house scene for quite some time. A DJ there for many years Hugo has now really made his mark on the production front. Many fans discovered Hugo in 2013 with his productions on Movement, System Recordings and Balkan Connection. He earned much support from Hernan Cattaneo who featured many of his productions on Resident Delta FM and also in his monthly charts. As 2014 begins Hugo is set to release his debut album entitled ‘Cinema Paradise’ which comes courtesy of Balkan Connection.

If you look at Hugo’s discography he really hasn’t been producing that long. His productions only date back to October of 2012 which is quite astounding when you consider the quality of this album. The collection is filled with some of the dreamiest cuts I’ve heard in a while and it’s a great listen from start to finish. The rich atmospheric intro of ‘Camille’ sets the perfect mood for the entire album. The hazy melodic themes which are present here seemingly weave their way in and out of the entire collection which makes for a relatively seamless journey. There are a few cuts which i think are extra special and that’s starts with the title track ‘Cinema Paradise’. While it’s one of the most eerie cuts on the album it’s also one of the most hauntingly beautiful as well. A clap heavy groove lays down a great foundation but it’s all the harmonic themes which eventually come to light are really something to marvel at here. After a growling and sinister sounding first 3 minutes the delicate melodies begins to take shape. These perfectly plucked keys are suitably drenched in effects and take the track into the middle section of the record where the groove strips down momentarily. There’s a an amazing atmosphere that’s created during the brief transition and it really sets up the dreamy conclusion quite nicely. ‘3000 Miles’ and ‘Common Sense’ are both quite memorable as well. The grooves are seemingly perfect and very reminiscent of something you might hear Guy J play. The atmospheric presence on both tracks is just so smooth and enchanting that they’re bound to create an amazing vibe on the dancefloor. If you’ve ever walked into a room when Hernan Cattaneo is playing then you can definitely relate. It really is quite otherworldly sounding.

Hugo has also brought in a few collaborators on the album; namely Tini Tun, Lautaro Varela and Fernando Ortiz which feature on the tracks ‘Emerge’, ‘Crossminds’ and ‘Blurry’ respectively. The latter of which he created with our long time friend Fernando Ortiz is also one of the best on the album. Again there are some big Guy J vibes happening here. Dreamy atmospheres, well textured beats and a contemporary coolness that keeps things nice and deep while the amazing melodies provide just right amount of delicate emotion. When the low end gets beefed up just prior to the break the momentum of the track increases dramatically and the trippy vocal elements which feature heavily during the drop are quite mystical sounding. It’s a lovely collaboration and one that sits perfectly in the flow of the album. The album is appropriately closed out with an ‘Outro’ version of the title cut ‘Cinema Paradise’. The eerie hypnotic soundscape and haunting atmospheric backdrop sums up the character and richness of the entire album really well. Even at only two minutes in length it’s a very captivating piece of music and leaves me wanting to hear much more from Hugo. He’s definitely one to watch in 2014 and I recommend everyone check out his debut album, you won’t be disappointed.

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