“Homem Fantasma” reviewed by Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

Hey again, here’s yet another part of my CRÓNICA review series, today focussing on this 2011 album by @C HOMEM FANTASMA. @C is the (in this case) electroacoustic duo of Miguel Carvalhais (one of CRÓNICA’s founders) and Pedro Tudela. The album is presented here in a 16-bit/44.1kHz CD quality download and includes the album cover in good resolution as well as a PDF detailing the album and also featuring credits.

HOMEM FANTASMA is a curious long 1 hour 52 minutes album of music and sound art that like the description says it not necessarily continous in a traditional way, rather being more like a kind of cycle of mutiple cycles that start and end at unpredictable moments. The three tracks are titled 78, 79 and 80 (probably pointing to @C’s works being titled as a continuous series in abstract numbers). First track 78 sounds like a mystery situation build up off a wide variety of sounds, mechanic, objects, drones, acoustic instruments. The music is extremely layered and is at times slowly paced, other times quicker in its pacing. This piece to me conjured up an interesting feeling in me, it’s somewhere in between peaceful and threatening. The drone in this piece is layered with a lot of both acoustic and electronic percussive abstract sounds but they don’t seem to be percussive in a traditional sense. More like mechanics taking on a life of their own, having a personality. A big part of this music is made of sounds that you seem to recognize but are hard to distinguish being actually real or to explain what they are. For fans of glitch, the last part of 78 contains some lovely clicks and sonic minimalism, look out for those pingpong balls in there as well. 79 is the big construction site piece, it’s filled with drones, whirs and machinery sounds that sound rather alien and manipulated. Just like 78 it’s a long track and it gets you into this trance state all focused on this mechanical and synthetic resonances combined with organic sounds. Of particular highlight in this track is the stuttery drilling sound that appears in some spots in this piece. Like 78 this piece ends more quiet and minimal in a mixture of “smaller” sounds in a smaller space, more liquid, abstract and imaginary sounding too. @C’s pieces on HOMEM FANTASMA are really dense with sound and progress a lot over these long pieces, always something happening yet never moving in a fast way. The trancelike ambience and pacing of this music also gives it a quality that you can listen both focused on the music but also sometimes let your mind wander off a little and let these strange sonics seep into your subconcious to conjur up and manipulate curious new thoughts and images. Another common part of the three piece is the usage of high frequenicy sounds, often laid over the rest in the mix as drones that are often pretty sharp and intense on the ears but do add some shine and luminance to the sound. Last piece 80 is much darker than the two pieces before and more synthetic sounding in a small room. 80 is more rhythmically focused and features more Industrial sounding machinery and mechnical sounds, some pleasant clanging sounds too, like classic 80’s Industrial. The drones in this piece go from sharp to filtered, diffuse and mysterious The piece is more minimal in its progression, less organic sounding too, so the repetition in the rhythms did require some more patience of me. However, because of the way the three pieces aren’t flowing into eachother or continous evolving in a traditional manner, you can always relisten and explore sections of the music again and see what new listening experience you will have. You could even try to shuffle these pieces and rearrange the album as an experiment. But however you listen to it it’s definitely a unique and captivating album.

HOMEM FANTASMA is a great 1 hour 52 minutes ride of music and sound art combined into abstract cinematic events that can inspire your imagination, let you discover the environment we live in in a surreal manner and is a new original way to perceive how music flows. A great listen and definitely recommended. Orlando Laman

via Fluid Sonic Fluctuations


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