As legend would have it, Simón de Cirene was the man who helped Jesus carry his cross to Golgotha. Mexican sound artitst Arturo Castelló, a.k.a. Ponytea, takes an atmospheric look at this moment in Christianity with Simón de Cirene (circlesandlines). The EP is broken up into three tracks, the first two titled in Aramaic, specifically words Jesus supposedly said: “effata” (mp3) and “lema sabactani” (mp3) or roughly translated as “Open Yourself” and “Why Have You Forsaken Me?”. The last track “esra” (mp3) may refer to the author a few books in the Christian Apocraphya. But enough about mythology, what about the music.
Simón de Cirene begins with drums mimicking gunfire echoing in the distance then melding it into a field recording of a church service and choral group and then finally into deep drones. The second track, “lema sabactani” (mp3), is more subdued than the first as bells call the listener in. Simón de Cirene is an interesting work and I especially enjoyed “esra” (mp3) with it’s delicate composition but strong overall flavor. Simón de Cirene is much more ambient that ponytea’s self-released La Sangre del Mártir Purifica por Simple Contacto that came out in February of this year.