LUIS PESTANA “Rosa Pano” C32 (Orange Milk)


It is upon you before you even know it. Portuguese artist Luis Pestana wastes no time ramping up Rosa Pano, his debut album, its opening chord shifting and growing as it builds to a sustained orchestral ambiance, voices intoning atop it. It continues in this vein – electronic tension punctuated by vocal performance, the first three tracks seamlessly blending as one. Even track four, “Calice Relampago,” the first to shift away from the initial momentum, carries on in the introduced Rosa Pano tradition. It pulls back on the tension, allowing it to drop away for a hint of melancholy before taking the short breath ahead of “Ao Romper da Bela Aurora.”
Because here, at the halfway mark, Rosa Pano goes full-on emotional supernova.
A chorus of male voices rolls choir-like through the track, bursting with every feeling to ever pass through your heart. The effect is overwhelming, the layers infinitely stacked, superimposed over one another, upon the threshold of euphoric tolerance. It is here that it becomes obvious that chemicals cause these feelings in your mind, because it’s impossible to imagine the response to the music as anything other than a rapid injection straight into your veins and carried at light speed via your circulatory system to the extremities of your body. Luis Pestana has composed the soundtrack to my ascension, my transfiguration into light.
Rosa Pano, sadly, must come down, and it does, via the hauntingly beautiful nine-minute title track that closes the album, allowing Pestana to bring us full circle into orchestral build before becoming silent, as if in the presence of a hushed audience. But this does nothing to dull the utterly invigorating cycle. And the slow burn is probably the only way to properly balance the chemicals that are fizzing throughout your brain, to bring them back into manageable stasis before they get out of control. You can’t fizz forever, you’ll burn out – don’t you know that? Luis Pestana does, and he has calculated and adjusted for a safe return – after maximum impact of course.