mabe fratti pies sobre la tierra couvre x chefs.jpg
mabe fratti pies sobre la tierra couvre x chefs.jpg

[Review] Mabe Fratti – Pies Sobre La Tierra

A majestic avant-garde pop composition narrated by ethereal and cathartic sounds.

Mabe Fratti is an experimental musician based in Mexico City. Born in Guatemala, she has been playing the cello since she was 8 years old and properly studied it in her native city. Going from live performances and presenting multidisciplinary collaborations with visual artists, and alike musicians, the name of Mabe Fratti has an outcome as a referent project between local radios, art institutions and a wide range of music venues in Mexico City.

Her voice, synths and cello are the core tools of her creation, and her work has been evolving through the years across several bands, multimedia projects and more recently, individual music explorations and self-releases that reunites a unique combination of sound design, art pop, ambient and chamber music. In the meditative EP she released last year called Aprendiendo a hablar (Learning how to talk), she introduced the foundations of an exceptional sound that was amplified with the release of her first full-length LP: Pies Sobre La Tierra.

With a wide range of enchanting sounds that come out from the exploration of Mabe’s cello, voice and field recordings, the music of Mabe Fratti on Pies Sobre La Tierra creates unique atmospheres that outcomes as stunning compositions.

Some of the tracks in this album are more experimental, other more vocal focused and even some others explode out the sound capacities of gathering together cello and electronic synthesis. Every song of Pies Sobre La Tierra has a different outcome on style, arrangement and narrativity, but they’re all driven together by the meticulous composition and the beautifully crafted sound environment that Mabe gave to life in the eight songs of the album. And even though a feel of a prominent musical technician is highly elevated on this music, the search of oneiric sounds stays as a key aspect of Mabe’s music.

[Todo Lo Que Querías Saber, directed by CNDSD]

In ‘Creo Que Puedo HacerAlgo Fratti angelically sings about growing far from the air. Some eerie verses juxtapose in combination with the haunting melodies of her cello. The soulfulness atmosphere of this track reminds the deep sensation of the vastness that contemporary compositors such as Caterina Barbieri creates with her synthesizers. In ‘Ignora’ the voice of Mabe is meticulously processed and the entire song sounds like a futuristic message of hope and salvation.

‘Entrando al Cuarto de la Duda’ and ‘Pronto su Cuerpo Estaría Silencioso’ are two cuts that exemplify the ingenious capacity of Mabe for creating contemporary electro-acoustical compositions. It’s ambient music where all the elements are beautifully and carefully think. Maybe this highly detailed compositions could be an influence of her former studies on cello. In any case, these explorations are a great example of how emotional the joint between the chamber and ambient music can get, a union that just a few legendary musicians have successfully integrated.

Pies Sobre La Tierra makes reference to mental spaces as a place for liberty and illusion outside physical immediacy. I like this contradictory meaning in the name of the album because having the feet on the ground is often said as a motto for being conscious of your own reality. In a moment of ‘Todo lo Que Deberías Saber’, Mabe sings an in-line statement by saying: “Soy el aire que colapsa con tu piel” (I’m the wind that collapses your skin) and is both a declaration of sensitive awareness and an invitation to show yourself vulnerable.  

Maybe the culminant point of the album is her collaboration with Concepción Huerta on ‘Dirección’, an otherworldly song surrounded by layers of complex harmonies that overlaps one after another for creating a cathartic mantra made of choral ambience.

There’s an emotional connotation in the spatiality of this harmonies, composition and sounds that allows a pretty intimate connection with Mabe’s music and what makes this album a pretty sublime experience. Its power to bring yourself into a weightless state transforms the hearing experience of listening to this album into a healing experience with yourself.

Pies Sobre La Tierra reminds us how music can elevate and embrace us. How it can occupy spaces that are not physical but rather belongs to us. That having the feet on the ground means being in a deep state of contemplation in order to appropriate our reality.