“Shattering Silence” reviewed by Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

Hi, I’m going to continue today with the next release in my now ongoing series of reviews of releases on the CRÓNICA label. Today I have for you this 2010 album by MOSAIQUE by Portugese artist Jan Ferreira who records here under that name MOSAIQUE. The album download is in 16-bit/44.1kHz CD quality and also comes with the cover artwork in good resolution and a PDF file detailing this album and the tracks and credits of this release. The PDF describes that MOSAIQUE uses various tools and resources to create his music, which include feedback manipulation, analogue synthesis and distortion. I found especially the feedback manipulation and distortion aspect of this working method interesting so I donated a few Euros and bought this free / pay-what-you-want download release. And this album definitely didn’t disappoint me.

SHATTERING SILENCE is an album with a clear signature sonic palette to it made up of noises, feedback, whirrs, crackles and many drones. What I noticed about this long 104 minute album in general is that while it is cohesive as an album, it also does feel a bit like an archival compilation of tracks as there is 3 types of tracks that the album switches between. There are abstract, experimental pieces, Drone focussed pieces that are sometimes more focused on the Noise, other times on the Drone side of things and there are tracks that feature beats and more “straight-forward” melodic development. Sometimes certain textures or sounds pop up in multiple tracks but the music is still varied and doesn’t sound repetitive. SHATTERING SILENCE starts off with Semendia, a track that features a lot of screeching noises but also pleasant yet also sharp analogue synth drones cutting through the taste-fully stereo panned electrical noises. MOSAIQUE often keeps things melodic on this album, but on this piece he finishes the music with a section of raw noises, pretty soft in texture but crackly too. Axis Tilt is a glitchy piece full of more stereo electrical sound manipulation goodness, but it also builds towards a whirring drone near the end that is accompanied by a second mysterious melody underneath the glitchy sonics. Hidden masked melodies occur at various times on this album, often being sampled music recordings from AM radio or other lo-fi grainy melodic fragments. It gives the music an interesting new melodic dimension that keeps it interesting, captivating and never lets the music become repetitve boring noodling with electronics, but instead there’s progression here. Ithom is a droning track that is very intensely whirring, there’s an awesome melody going on underneath the electricity as well that sounds like a recording of a choir performance. Awesome track that has quite a lot variation in melody during it’s 12+ length, cool drone. Mundo is one of the tracks on here with a beat, droning and whirring again but also with a nice introspective melodic side to it, the groove is relaxed, glitchy and catchy and it adds a nice rhythmic touch to the album’s sound. Typus und Form is a minimal piece that is very focused on high frequency sounds and fast clicks and glitches through the stereo field, nice piece. Ropea mixes all kinds of funky AM radio recordings, electrical sound and melodic Noise together in a pretty dark dramatic sounding piece with plenty of drone in it too. Also look out (or listen out) to this pretty romantic piece of orchestral music underneath the Noise that pops up around half way into the track, pretty humorous in a strange way, creative stuff. Photon Hills is like a metal cloud of static electricity, touching everything around it, subtle melody and changing behaviour of the sounds. Fissures focuses a lot on the high frequency spectrum of sound with plenty of Noise, feedback and drone variations, as well as that nice whirring movement through the stereo field. Recoil is a glitched up piece that through various harmonic distirbances works towards a consonant drone ending, pretty funky in its rhythm actually and playful. Tessian is a piece with a “critical” sound, dark textures talk off danger and the piece builds towards a layered siren drone of harmonic and phase manipulation. Golden Vertical is almost poppy in its sound, a pretty accessible track, straightforward in its melodies, but also very well made, catchy and nice, the electrical whirrs more organized and a bit like a glitch / Braindance style track. Beasts is a piece that literally sounds like beasts eating all the equipment into glitches, bits and broken Noise, fun piece. Gravity and Grace is a collosal Drone piece, very nice sharp phased sound with plenty of chord and sound manipulation shifts, very very nice track. Sinum is the last track on the album and again a rather melodic piece, tho faster moving, a mixture of drone and electrical Noise. It’s a little awkwardly placed in the tracklist at the end though, as it doesn’t sound like a “closing track” a lot but nevertheless a nice piece once again.

SHATTERING SILENCE by MOSAIQUE is an album that really does shatter silence in many spots but is also atmospheric and introspective in its creative electrical sounding mixture of drones, whirrs, noises and glitches that form a signature musical language that moves from captivating melodic to more abstract but also exciting and playful music. A great listen for people interested in the more musical approach to using feedback and various equipment noises and with its extended length also a great Noise meditation session. Orlando Laman

via Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

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