“Flow” reviewed by e/i magazine

Often it is not enough to be dear to the other—one feels compelled to be fatal to them. Tangled in the maw of long, violin-like sonorities, shards of jack-plug static and nightmarish boomings suggestive of cavernous depths, the strangely neutral voice of Filipa Hora—overdubbed and pitchshifted variously up and down—bears out just this fear, musing “I think this is so dangerous, this intimacy…I think you’re getting so close, I think I’m going to have to stop you from getting closer.” The album charts the passage of the Other in its irreducible foreignness to its deterritorialization and regulated exchange as difference. The compositional techniques are wide and many, but they are all connected up to one another by Joaquim’s processing as though by an immense umbilical cord. Submersive listening is best, as it brings to light the manners in which seemingly random sounds are siphoned into a structure that is given impetus and accrues complexity. Despite its fragmentary nature, moments of melody and harmonic resolution emerge from the shadows of the dim tonal palette. In fact, numerous pieces, especially “Moments Of Emptiness,” betray an affinity for post-rock in their reliance on elliptical melodies and doomy bass vibrations. Joaquim’s approach is more strategic, however. In a subtle manner, he recombines and loops scrambling clusters of reprocessed sound, bleary beats, and subterranean echoes, creating a dramatic tension between movement and stasis. Other works such as “Moments Of Silence” pivot in unusual places, affording it a structural slipperiness which, when combined with metallic guitar lines that rub each other the wrong way, heighten the woozy, dreamlike aura of the work on a whole. With “Misleading Moments” the work comes full circle and the Same assumes its position as the heir to the Other. The album’s signature funeral march of grating electronics and slow-burning guitar clang is repeated, only painted over with some high-end frequencies that glimmer through the ominous ambience like stars through smog. Everything does flow through a single nebula, then, one which is taut and compelling in its use of sound in the construction of narrative. (MS)

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