by Carlos Reyes
One of the greatest joys of making Club Fonograma is the privilege of artists sending us their music before it hits the public light. When Juan Roman Diosque sent me a couple of songs from Constante, he was getting pretty close to releasing it via his website, like he did with his last record, Bote. “I honestly believe this album deserves more than it just being uploaded into a website,” Diosque wrote as he consulted other options. It only took one spin of “La Cura” for me to agree –I was moved and visibly shaken the power of of his crescendos of both, the music and the vernacular. That same week, I forwarded the MP3 of the song to Rodrigo Santis from Quemasucabeza, who quickly set everything up to add Diosque to the label’s roster, where he now finds his name next to the likes of Gepe, Ases Falsos and his compatriot, Coiffeur.
Since its birth, Constante (produced by Jean Deon) collapsed and aligned itself for a healthy, vibrant life. Not only is Constante Diosque’s revelation piece (time might credit it as a masterpiece one day) it’s also Quemasucabeza’s best release since Audiovisión. “Recopilo pedazos tuyos que me das cuando te miro,” sings Diosque in Bote’s beautiful single “La dictadura de tu belleza.” When dissecting his last album, I accused the Argentine songwriter of showing symptoms of voyeurism and paraphilia. Looking back, I really sound like a desperate critic trying to make sense of Diosque’s many vocal and melodic fragmentations. But whereas a title like Constante would make you think he would subscribe to form and shift towards more stable and digestible narratives, Diosque gold-brushes and shines his sequencing tools, placing a rare faith in the listener’s aural sense.
Seeing music as a provocation of the senses, it’s almost cruel how disturbing and shockingly vivid Diosque allows himself to be throughout Constante. Take for example the vocal tab of “Arriba,” where Diosque defies the opportunity to sound fluid to instead, fit his content within the fragmented space of his composition. Think of it as those ultra-conscious walks when you suddenly become aware of the amount of steps you fit within the same tile – and how it's inevitable to develop negotiations with balance and patterns on the long run. The aesthetics and concepts of Constante redirect us to the concepts of infinity in time and space. “Aprovecho la eternidad mientras viva” sighs Diosque in “Una Naranja,” seeing his quest for stability as a continual emotional detachment. This is a work that rewards the demands it makes to its listeners.
From its very first track, Constante reveals itself as a puzzling work. Album opener “Fuego” is chopped and tormented –as if Diosque wanted us to see the unlikely construction of his composition (perhaps hoping for a deconstruction of our own). We may question his methods of storytelling, but it’s that progressively unlikeliness of Diosque’s melodies and hooks that brings it its appeal. That incessant search for a chorus and its half a dozen rhythm shifts make “La Cura” a marvel of a song. What’s truly interesting here is the almost anti-climatic approach on its fast-paced canvas. Structurally, “La Cura” lacks a chorus. Making that realization is as distressing as it is fascinating. The vocal decoding in the second half of the song is the most heart-breaking digital mumbling since Kanye West’s “Runway.” The song hits its peak on its final output through a couple of NASA rockets (digital raptures) that Diosque treats beautifully – glimpsing them only once and resisting to make a loop out of them like everyone has done ever since “Midnight City.”
It’s beautiful to see the discourse of Constante unveil before our eyes. For instance, how Diosque begins to employ certain conducts to his composition. If something made Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty almost an unbearable watch for me was its harassment of providing with beautiful images one after the other. Diosque chooses its moments and chooses them well. Moments like the “papapahs” in “La Verdad Rota,” the disco rapture of “Soy Las Seis,” and the intoxicatingly beautiful elevation of a bridge cascading itself up to a climax in “Broncedado.” Perhaps what gets Constante further than other recent works from Diosque’s contemporaries like Coiffeur and Helado Negro are its monumental pop pieces. “La Cura” and “Bronceado” are as grandeur as any single by Javiera Mena or Astro, and that make Constante truly stunning to behold even during its uncanny moods and quietly gripping conclusion.
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