“Hiku Komuro, Hikikomori” reviewed by Vital


Three new releases from Crónica take the listener from Portugal to Greece to Scotland. Geographically dispersed as the origins of these composers may be, the works hold a firm common Crónica thread in serving aural tapestries amongst the best in avant-garde contemporary music on the verge of composed acoustic and electronics music.
Durán Vázquez work a full year on his tape Hiku Komuro, Hikikomori. Asking himself questions, holed up with his gear. Can we know an aural world outside our own; the one we hear in our head? The one ears tell us is there; we hear inside? Is hearing a product of outside phenomenons getting in or could it be that we can never really know what goes on outside – i.e. not within our own brain, mind, soul. Solus Ipse. Wandering alone – never in real contact; or, oh well… that than is as much the real contact as we can get. It doesn’t get any more. That’s not to say it’s a good or bad thing in and of itself. It just is. And we cannot know, for sure. Really.
Vázquez conjures plains and fields of sparse instrumentation. Very high pitches are never thinning out the spectrum, which one might expect. Nor do these glistening glass organ like shimmerings and piercing tones project eerie connotations. These frequencies are those of which resonance is made. A transportation of rumblings and murmurs, pulling on the soul’s strings like perpetual high droning of eternal movement. Here dark skies are pushed away. Not per se to let the sunlight in, but to wipe clean the crowded and muddied slate. Vázquez seems to be aiming for an aural tabula rasa – far from emptied out or minimally reduced. His quintet of works on the a-side promote vistas of zen gardens with slight breezes and birds singing in animated dialog with an idiosyncratic stillness of ease always present – back- and foreground.
In his Galicia based studio Vázquez composes his works using samples of old video games as prime source materials, together with FM synthesis and other synths. On the b-side his acousmatic soundscaping has been impregnated with gentle use of bleeping noises and swooshes reminiscent of arcade space battle. The gently bubbling, slowly creeping tar- or lava like structure gives way to multiplicities of translations; the full spectrum from highly advanced sci-fi technological down to purely natural meadowlands teeming with wildlife. Like a fascinating soundscape of field recordings from field yet uncharted, unseen, unheard – most likely only existing inside Vázquez’ and our own head(s). (SSK)

via Vital

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