Les Fauves by Swoop and Cross

Release date: February 4, 2022
Label: Piano and Coffee Records

Those a bit more familiar with ‘standard’ classical music will probably know what Les Fauves, the title of the second album by Portuguese-born, London-based, composer Ruben Vale, aka Swoop and Cross refers to.

Fauvism, the artistic movement that originated in France,  “which inspired the use of heavy saturation, unconstrained orchestral segments and pointillistic revolving melodies and orchestrations.”

Vale’s idea was to make “a depiction of visual and auditory noise nowadays’ automaton-like societies, and an attempt to prove that inner quietness, here in the form of gentle melodies, can permeate and eventually overrule such noise.”


The moment you delve into opener ‘The Hand’ you realise that is exactly what Vale is going after here – the speaking white noise is slowly and surely swept over by some slowly developing, mesmerising orchestral  movements. From there on, Vale employs this concept throughout the album with brilliant results.

Whether Fauvism artists had specific music in mind when they originally developed their ideas doesn’t matter – Vale is using all the elements of modern and post-modern classical music, from minimalism to electronic elements, to reach his goals.

To make such a concept stick you really have to be both thoroughly knowledgeable and inventive as an artist, in this case a composer to make substantive music and on the evidence of Les Fauves, Ruben Vale, or Swoop and Cross certainly has them. A thoroughly engaging album.

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