“Crónica L” reviewed by Textura

Crónica L
Crónica celebrates its fiftieth release with a compilation featuring nine collaborations by Stephan Mathieu, Janek Schaefer, Lawrence English, Marc Behrens, Stephen Vitiello, Tu M’, and others. Crónica L’s material is emblematic of the type of bold experimentalism the label has remained faithful to since its inception more than seven years ago. It’s an hour of challenging yet engrossing listening packed with microtextural soundscapes and granular drones that should appeal to devotees of Francisco López and electronic producers of kindred sensibility. Throughout the recording, ever-mutating sounds flutter hyperactively in convulsive settings of resolutely abstract character.

In “Unfurling Fugue,” Janek Schaefer weaves Enrico Coniglio’s Venice-based field recordings into a combustible melange of clattering noises and organ tones. Gilles Aubry and Paulo Raposo give us nearly ten minutes of restlessly churning industrial dronescaping in “Forms of Suspension.” @c (Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais) and Gintas K conjure a dizzying storm in “K./85” of rabid insectoid chirp and rumble, with all of it laced with swirling shards of acoustic guitar flutter. Stephan Mathieu and Piotr Kurek generate a deeply crackling drone of voice fragments and electronic slivers (“The Heavens Have Many Colors”), while the plaintive ululations of a Middle Eastern singer shadow a turbulent churn of industrial noise in Ran Slavin and Vitor Joaquim’s “Voices Over Water.” “Circles of Twine” finds Lawrence English and Stephen Vitiello weaving outdoors field recordings and piano playing into a dense field of reverberant haze, after which “Rêve General,” perhaps the album’s peak moment, takes the recording out on a celestial cloud of blinding tones and washes, courtesy of The Beautiful Schizophonic (Jorge Mantas) and Tu M’ (Rossano Polidoro, Emiliano Romanelli). Despite the involvement of eighteen different artists, the collection turns out to be surprisingly cohesive with each of the nine pieces complementing one another by spinning fully developed variations on the dronescaping style. On this collection, Crónica re-affirms its reputation as a label of integrity that regularly offers free-to-download recordings to its listeners and is more than a little deserving of whatever support the electronic music listening community can provide.

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