“Ab OVO” reviewed by Headphone Commute

Besides a handful of abstract and experimental musicians, Portugal based Crónica media label is a home to its founders and one of the most interesting acts, @c (pronounced “at-c”). Originally a trio, @c formed in 2000, and is currently made up of Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela. Their fourteenth (by my count) release is actually a soundtrack to a play, titled OVO, developed by the Teatro de Marionetas do Porto (a string puppet theater) in late 2011. I find it difficult to actually imagine the visual component of this performance, since the six pieces on the album, consecutively titled “98″ through “103″ feature some of the most abstract and complex compositions I have heard to date. Although the music is incredibly theoretical, it is not nevertheless that hard to digest. There are components of noise, elaborate digital manipulation, and multiple conceptual layers that at first seem to be nearly chaotic, yet the mind stays interested and focused, determined to solve the puzzle presented by @c within. The sound twists, warps, and contorts, creating a tangle of obscure themes, as if the puppets themselves are perplexed at the mangled strings attached at their members. Indeed, the published score is not a direct copy of the aural component of play, but rather a reworked portion of the soundtrack, tailored to be detached from the original context. HC

via Headphone Commute

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