Another strong release from Francisco LÃ³pez, the very prolific sound artist whose passion and headstrong ways often lead him to make grand gestures and pronouncements, along with the music. Today on DSB (CRONICA 166-2021) he is reiterating â€“ absolutely verbatim â€“ the claims made for a 2018 release untitled#360 for the Emitter Micro label in Berlin, and noted here. The relevant passage is â€œan astonishing reversal of the traditional widespread subservience of sound to story-tellingâ€ and â€œthe open shell of an apparent narrative becoming sound workâ€.
These phrases, and the artistic intention, continue to apply to todayâ€™s release, the cassette DSB. As with the 2018 record, my take is that heâ€™s pretty much producing a very artistic sound-effects record, but at the same time LÃ³pez wishes quite strongly that we donâ€™t hear it as a story or narrative, and just concentrate on the â€œnew form of weird experimental musicâ€ that he offers. This is extremely difficult given the generous amount of the content on the tape, and the fact that itâ€™s very redolent of a radiophonic play; one canâ€™t help but hear it as the story of a submarine, possibly during wartime, with a brief strafe of gunfire and bomb explosions from an air attack, followed by lots of sub-aquatic adventures and some flurries of wind and rain when the sub surfaces now and again. For the â€œinteriorâ€ scenes, LÃ³pez has much fun with the submarineâ€™s sonar pulses and humming boxes of electrical equipment, weaving it into the general fabric of DSB and supplying plenty drama.
I fully appreciate this isÂ notÂ the desired response, but on the other hand itâ€™s good to hear this sometimes-austere Spanish fellow injecting a lot more maximalism into his work. Known for years as a master of silence and inaudible records, he currently seems to be enjoying a purple patch where the joys of noise and incident can be savoured. Iâ€™m all for itâ€¦we dive at dawn! Ed Pinsent