Luca Forcucci’s “Terra” reviewed by Vital Weekly

@C are also the people who run Cronica Electronica, and they just released a new album by Luca Forcucci. Many of the releases on Cronica may have their roots in computer technology, but it is not exclusively devoting its time to that. From Forcucci, we reviewed various releases before (Vital Weekly 135312161071 and 883). ‘Terra’ is a five-part work in which he uses cello, percussion, live electronics, fragments, drifts and territories. The latter is to be understood as parts being recorded in Los Angeles, Recife, and Beirut, field recordings, and his playing of instruments. Music from different places, various times and which he cuts and pastes together. A new context for all of them culminated in the five parts/pieces. The music is flown in from around the world but is joined together in the Swiss Jura mountains, where Forcucci had a three-day residency and a concert. I am unsure if the CD represents the live recording or if this is another reshaping or remodelling of the music. The cover mentions ‘(de)composed & mixed’, which suggests the latter. Whatever, the music is pretty exciting, like @C working with percussive sounds. The combination of cello and percussion with Forcucci works pretty well. The electronics fly high above, or way below this, cut-up, fragmentized, rendered beyond recognition. Somewhere on the cross-road of electro-acoustic music, improvisation and computer music, ‘Terra’ walks a path in the terra incognita, but in a hybrid way; sometimes, the path is very recognizable. A short release, at thirty-five minutes, but packed with vibrant music, so it’s full of energy but without too many moments of rest. Also not the most accessible release. I imagine that this must have been an overwhelming experience in concert. (FdW)

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Ilia Belorukov’s “Scattered Underfoot” reviewed by Silence and Sound

Fruit d’expérimentations entre sonorités électroniques et un set-up de percussions diverses, Scattered Underfoot est une oeuvre aux frontières fragiles, amas de conjugaisons sonores et de possibilités soniques. 

Ilia Belorukov aime jouer avec les turbulences et les moments d’évanouissements temporels, pratiquant l’art de la surprise avec subtilité, inscrivant dans la matière des halos de lumière cicatrisée. 

Les ambiances de Scattered Underfoot sont chargées de bribes poussiéreuses et de futur explosé, combinaison de matières radio-active et de grésillements glissants. 

Des fantômes égarés, cherchant à fuir le monde des limbes, se jettent dans cet amoncellement de vie éclatée, abri accueillant pour âmes désorientées, derniers sursauts de villes englouties sous des fournaises de chair métalliques, traversées de rayons cosmiques au passé effacé. Très fortement recommandé. Roland Torres

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Matilde Meireles’s “Life of a Potato” reviewed by The Sound Projector

Quite nice field recording cassette by Matilde Meireles…on Life of a Potato (CRONICA 180-2022), she proposes that we have taken the humble potato for granted for far too long and resolves to show us more of its life, as rendered in sound.

Her recordings depict the potato growing the ground, and also being roasted and eaten; she managed to capture the former sound by picking up vibrations in the soil itself, by means of a rake. The B-side of the tape focusses more on the cooking stage, and ruminates on the topic of energy itself (that being used to fire the oven for roasting), I suppose as a counterpoint to the idea of the sun helping the tubers to grow. I like the holistic approach of Matilde Meireles here, and one might almost say she’s understood the life-cycle of a vegetable in the story she tells here, to say nothing of a smattering of its place in history and culture (there is a reference to how the potato travelled to the UK from Spain in the 17th century). I wish the recordings themselves were a bit more interesting; one hopes for something conveying the vitality of growth and the excitement of cookery, yet nothing so very vivid has landed on the tapes, which are mostly flat and murky.

For an inspiring read in this area, I personally recommend the works of John Stewart Collis, a postwar ecologist who later became something of a mystic; he devoted one chapter of his book to a description of the life of the potato, and it positively sings as he expresses in prose the small miracle of nature that has taken place with soil, rain, and sunshine. “When we eat a potato,” he wrote, “we eat the earth and we eat the sky.” No such revelation on this tape, sadly, but it’s a strong effort nonetheless. Ed Pinsent

via The Sound Projector

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Máquina Magnética reviewed by RNE 3 Atmosfera

Máquina Magnética nació del encuentro de cuatro artistas experimentales con prácticas consolidadas tanto en el trabajo individual como colectivo: Gustavo Costa, baterista, percusionista y uno de los líderes del colectivo Sonoscopia, en percusión acústica y electromecánica; Pedro Tudela y Miguel Carvalhais, del proyecto @c y el sello Crónica (conocidos de sobra por nuestros Atmósferos), sobre ordenadores; y Rodrigo Carvalho, de los colectivos Openfield y Boris Chimp 504, sobre visuales generativos y luces interactivas. Máquina Magnética explora las sinergias y los límites del territorio de cada artista, cruzando lo orgánico, lo mecánico y lo sintético; grabaciones en estudio y en vivo; libre improvisación y composición; gestos musicales y sonidos acusmáticos; performance audiovisual y música visual. Estas tensiones construyen un espacio catártico para la interpretación desarrollado a través de seis piezas en un álbum grabado y mezclado entre dos escenarios en vivo, O’culto da Ajuda en Lisboa y gnration en Braga, y dos estudios, Sonoscopia y Crónica, ambos en Oporto, en un continuo proceso creativo.

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Ilia Belorukov’s “Scattered Underfoot” reviewed by What’s That Noise?

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Ilia Belorukov’s “Scattered Underfoot” reviewed by Blow Up

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New release: Ilia Belorukov’s “Scattered Underfoot”

Crónica starts the year in the best possible way, presenting the first release by Ilia Belorukov in the label.

Ilia Belorukov is a musician from Saint Petersburg, Russia. He works in the directions of improvised, noise and electroacoustic music, collaborating with local and foreign musicians and performers. Ilia practices an experimental approach to sound extraction on alto saxophone, using modular synthesizers and other instruments. He founded the Intonema label and was one of curators of Spina!Rec label. He organised events in Saint Petersburg and Russia and co-organized the Teni Zvuka and Spina!Fest festivals. He writes reviews for Jazzist and notes about music as musicworm in Telegram channel.

This album was created in 2020-2021 in the most strange times of the pandemic, when almost all live music was stopped and many had to work from home. Honestly, this was not something totally unusual for me, as I have a habit to compose at the computer when I have some kind of inspiration or, better said, when I try different things. I tend to work on several concurrent pieces at any given time, slowly developing them, and sometimes finding they can come together as an album.

Scattered Underfoot is one of these cases, and it is something new for me. It is an electroacoustic composition that crosses analog and modular synthesis, field recordings, percussion, and processing. This was an experimental process, exploring possibilities for the computer to add its own inputs by developing chance processes. A similar process was developed with the percussion elements, improvising with small setups of snare drum, cymbal, and objects, focusing on sounds rather on playing, as I am not a drummer, after all. Several of these sessions were collected, serving as a starting point to the compositions.

There is no randomness in the creative process itself, it all comes from thinking and trying to connect sounds and ideas to each other in, most importantly, new ways that I had not already explored in my previous electroacoustic or acoustic improvised music.

Scattered Underfoot is now available as a limited edition tape, and for download and stream from Crónica.

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Ilia Belorukov’s “Scattered Underfoot” reviewed by Musique Machine

While the pandemic of 2020 changed the lives of everyone on our Earth, many artists used this period of tumult and isolation to create and dive deeper into their psyches to represent this unease and fear as gorgeous pieces of art. Ilia Belorukov is no exception, and he took his normal, home composing routine and took it in a new direction. Mixing analog and modular synthesis, field recordings, percussion, and processing, Scattered Underfoot was born into an unsure and drastically changing world. A definite product of that changing, growing, intermingling zeitgeist, Ilia’s composition is getting to see the light of day through MC Crónica 195 on January 10th. 

Mixing electronics with natural, acoustic sources, Belorukov constructs an interesting blend of sounds that evoke a varied emotional response. Scattered Underfoot is composed in such a way that it almost bridges the gap between ambient and musique concrète. Considering when the album was composed and recorded, the bleak sounds on display really capture the state of the world at the time as well as varied outlooks into the future. The almost broken sounding horns that appear over the low, mechanical drone on “The Night Whispered and Sang” alludes to a very dystopian and dark future. One can imagine walking down along the muddy tracks from the album’s cover and hearing sparse, somewhat mutilated sounds of joy from an era that’s passed.  There is a definite lost and lonely vibe throughout Scattered Underfoot, and Belorukov deftly captured the feeling of the time. His take is interesting, too. Although we’ve heard many releases that were composed and recorded at this time, this is clearly a very individualized vision, despite similarities in tone to other albums. We may have all gone through this together, but our realities are shaped by our perceptions, and that is unique to the individual.  

Scattered Underfoot hearkens back to a wild and highly influential time in our world’s history. This is because it was composed and recorded during that tumultuous period and is being released by MC Crónica 195 on January 10th. Ilia Belorukov’s use of both electronic and acoustic sources brings forth an evocative look at a strange present and a possibly grim future. Slowly moving and growing, the layers here utilize both ambient and musique concrète and wonderfully express one man’s vision of a very historic time. Paul Casey

via Musique Machine

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Ilia Belorukov’s “Scattered Underfoot” reviewed by African Paper

Der in St. Petersburg lebende Klangbastler und Mehrfachinstrumentalist Ilia Belorukov bringt soeben sein neues Langspieltape mit vier zu Beginn der Pandemie produzierten Stücken heraus. Das Album entstand auf der Basis u.a. von diversen modularen Gerätschaften, Akustikgitarre, Becken, Drums und Drummachines, auch Feldaufnahmen und zweckentfremdete Objekte kamen zum Einsatz. Das Tape erscheint am 10. Januar bei Crónica, das Album ist auch digital erhältlich.

via African Paper

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New release: @c’s “Installations: S(o)al (2021)”

During the twenty-plus years of their collaboration as @c, Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais’s work spanned composition and performance but also, and prominently, several installations, often site-specific and ephemeral works that have at most been documented with short videos. This series of releases in Crónica is dedicated to revisiting and documenting these installation works, not only in situ recordings but also the computational systems developed for the works, archival materials, and other assets, presenting new compositions that unfold from each of the installations. This series is accompanied by the book Installations / Instalações, also published by Crónica. The third release in the series is S(o)al, after the installation commissioned by Museu Zer0 in 2021 and developed at Ermida de São Roque in Tavira.

The city of Tavira, in the Portuguese region of Algarve has an ancient connection with salt,its production in the area going back millennia. Nowadays, salt is still very relevant to the local economy and culture, with salt ponds being one of the most striking elements in the landscape. Working in a 16th-century chapel, Tudela and Carvalhais took inspiration from the culture and the sounds of salt and the ocean. Most of the physical apparatus of the installation was housed at the chapel’s nave, while the chancel was used as a resonant chamber for sounds that were composed in two sets, echoing the cadence of breaking ocean waves, and exploring granular sounds that evoke processes of crystallisation.

Installations: S(o)al (2021) is now available for download or stream via the usual channels.

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