[Reviewed by stark]
Twelve years have passed… who would’ve thought. I’ve followed this project almost since the beginning. One of my first interviews was conducted with Luis and I think the first promo I got was ‘The Fog That Life Is Haunted By’ CD-r. Back then the project was known as The Joy Of Nature And Discipline. Why did Luis shorten the name? I think I asked him about that, but I forgot… so forgive me. Either way, his debut had a tremendous impact on me. It was original and at the same time it corresponded with my personal world view, my feeling and emotions of that time. One thing I don’t understand – the first edition of ‘The Fog…’ was released in 2003 by Portuguese Reaping Horde label. So it actually makes fifteen years. Luis? If you read this, could you be so kind and explain that to me?
Twelve or fifteen, that’s not important. He’s made a long journey, but I feel never gained the attention he deserves. The beginnings were a mixture of Portuguese folk and melancholic ambient with a stronger emphasis on the latter. With time and other albums this folky component was becoming more and more important, while the ambient, though still present, was pushed to the background. Styles
and genres were morphing, but one thing was constant – Luis’ sensitivity and his skill at creating touching melodies of beauty and sadness. As I mentioned before here and there, I always preferred the dreamy ambient works of The Joy Of Nature, so I regret a bit that there’s only one composition from that first album (“As The River Flows”), but the selection of songs is quite a nice one, especially for someone not familiar with Luis’ music. All tracks are reworked and remastered, the album sounds very compact, like a normal release, not just a “greatest hits”. Thanks to the new arrangements for me it also gives a view of known songs from another angle. Obviously, each person’s choice would be different, but this is normal for such compilations. Personally I miss the fragile psychedelic melancholia of ‘The Girl With The Razor Waiting By The Sea’…
Emptiness may be a long story indeed, and I wonder at which point Luis currently is; I wish at least another twelve years. Or fifteen. It doesn’t matter, as without The Joy Of Nature my own musical world would be a little bit poorer.
The Joy Of Nature – Emptiness Is a Long Story ~ The First 12 Years Revisited