Without a doubt one of the most startlingly unique and original releases to emerge within the electronic underground of 2015 was Flako's Natureboy, a superb album of hugely emotive content that spanned classical structures, beat-laced sampledelia and out-and-out Bleep electronics. Back in the cold winter months of March, London based beatmaker Dario Rojo Guerra aka Flako delivered his debut full length Natureboy on Five Easy Pieces. We knew Flako, also known as the blue-eyed soul soul singer Dirg Gerner on Floating Point's Eglo label, had an incredible ear and warmth to his sound, but it was with the first listen of this album that he truly transported us to some island far far away from our European grey, in to a rich and organic world that is Natureboy. With soaring, bombastic synth sections that bounce off of intricately placed beat patterns, he created a hybrid sound that is both visceral and cinematic. The record is a giant undertaking, leading with introspective, hovering drones before settling into the enchanting ‘Shipibo Icaro’ followed by the softer, new age chords and wood block percussion on ‘Gelis’. Elsewhere, Guerra nods to a variety of styles through his dexterous beat-making ability, such as the footwork-referencing ‘Kuku’ or more ridged grime styles on ‘Lyrebird’. He explores the sounds of his childhood in Chile by referencing South American soul, folk and cumbia, plus his passion for crate digging leads to references of Vangelis’ synth compositions, with all of this perfectly woven together with the strings of Miguel Atwood-Ferguson in the richly embroidered track 'Twelve O'Clock Shadow'.
Having been on heavy rotation in the Bleep office since its release in March it was natural that Natureboy was our album of the year in 2015, a truly engaging and rewarding release that if you have not explored it already we urge you to spend some time with it, and it goes without saying that we are really look forward to hearing what Flako has in store for us in the years to come.