Francisco López & Miguel A. García’s “Ekkert Nafn” reviewed by Silence And Sound

Ekkert Nafn qui signifie en islandais « sans nom », est un split album sur lequel les artistes Francisco López et Miguel A. García aka Xedh, proposent un titre chacun, intitulé Untitled #351 pour le premier, et Applainessads pour le second.

Composés à partir de field recordings, par la suite retravaillés et agencés via des procédés digitaux, les deux tracks forment un tout, dont chaque élément semble se répondre.

Untitled #351 donne à entendre un monde construit autour de bascules et de crissements industriels, où les cadences se voient entrecoupées de silence et de sursauts métallurgiques, monde mécanique aux bouillonnements incessants.

Applainessads quand à lui, circule sur des ondes presque aquatiques, avec ses sonorités enfouies sous des torsions électriques en mode basse tension, dont l’atmosphère générale n’est pas sans évoquer certains travaux de Pan Sonic.

En deux titres, Ekkert Nafn propose un monde aux contrastes saisissants, dont la matière première bien que profondément similaire, offre deux facettes opposées et complémentaires, Yin et Yang en mode électro-acoustique. Captivant. Roland Torres

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Francisco López & Miguel A. García’s “Ekkert Nafn” reviewed by Nitestylez

Put on the circuit as a joined forces collaboration between the labels Cronica and Tronicdisease on May 21st, 2k19 is “Ekkert Nafn”, a split album produced by experimental music legend Francisco Lopez and Bilbao-based sound artist Miguel A. Garcia. Opening with Lopez’ nearly 32 minutes spanning “Untitled #351” we’re drawn into a cold fusion of clean, sterile sonic events and crackles recorded in a far, desolate future, digital Noize eruptions and unprocessed recordings of waterflows followed by seemingly random breakoffs into near silence, computational noises as well as various sequences of Ambient / UnAmbient and Noize which, overall, make this composition quite incoherent in comparison to Lopez’ early, and from our viewpoint: preferred, musical works. Furthermore Miguel A. Garcia presents 28+ minutes of “Applainessads” for a second part of the album, staying true to the cold, uneasy musical direction the album took in its first half, yet presenting a more coherent compositional approach with his slow moving swell of scraping midrange frequencies and slightly longing background atmosphere telling tales of melancholia and desolation which even become more evident as layers and layers of droning, klaxon’esque signals build up over the course of the track before the tunes overall focus shifts towards what seem to be buzzing recordings from a digital beehive accompanied by reverberating sonar beeps and angelic soundwaves for an extended, well minimalistic closing. Baze.Djunkiii

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Francisco López & Miguel A. García’s “Ekkert Nafn” reviewed by Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

Welcome to another new review in the Fluid Label Focus series on the Crónica label in which today I’m reviewing an album that I received as a review copy on CD from Crónica quite by surprise. With many review copies nowadays coming in in digital format through the email or other ways, finding an extra review copy in my physical package of a release I didn’t review yet was a very nice gift. Indeed this album, titled Ekkert Nafn by Francisco López & Miguel A. García was also the exact kind of album I had actually been subconsciously waiting to check out for quite some time, with the last time I’ve checked out López work being through a CD release in a very arty package that I ordered from the quality but unfortunately by now closed Experimedia mail order store so seeing his name on this album already gave me high expectations as through my always ongoing interest in underground and experimental music the glimpses of descriptions of his sound always left me intrigued. Indeed through the ever-growing interconnection by networking with an ever growing number of artists and labels that I review I’ve already come across Miguel A. García’s name as well, but didn’t know yet what kind of sound his material has. Through Ekkert Nafn I found out however that these two Spanish sound artists and experimental musicians have a lot in common in terms of their approach to composing, manipulating and performing with sound but through subtle cues there is a kind of division between the two artists audible on this album, although when listening to this album in full, the transition from López’ piece to the track by Miguel A. García is so seamless that the compositions become one piece, one continuous experience. And while before writing my reviews I always read the release descriptions and refer to them somewhat too, the more compact text on the back cover which doesn’t reveal a lot is in this case also enough to be able to get into these pieces, as like López also said in an interview before, not knowing what these sounds are sourced from is often better than having this knowledge to get into the compositions with a completely fresh mind and no pre-formed expectations in your mind in advance. So that’s also the approach I will take with this review, as much interpretation of the compositions without too much reference to possible recognisable sounds. Before I get into the compositions, I’ll talk a bit about the artwork of this release on CD, as always. The CD of Ekkert Nafn comes in a nice compact cardboard gatefold sleeve with artwork by Raul Dominguez and the signature Crónica design by Miguel Carvalhais. The front cover is quite fitting to my impression of the sound works on this album themselves, abstract paint-like swipes of white and purple-ish colour combined with blue dots puncturing these textures appear over a dark nocturnal background which matches the rather mysterious nocturnal ambience I’m getting from the pieces, strange glimmering sounds appearing in front of you in the dark quiet night. In the middle you can see the artist names, album title, Crónica logo and catalogue numbers in uppercase type in a nice contemporary labelling style. The spine follows the familiar Crónica style again, artist names in normal uppercase type, album title in bold and label name, catalogue numbers + year in regular style again over a black background. The back cover is black as well, listing the track list plus track timings, creation dates and locations, copyright data, links and album credits in serif type. Inside the gatefold you can find more artwork (which is especially focussed around the aforementioned holes in which lights and shapes peeking through). The CD itself is housed in a round die cut in which it can slip in and out. The CD features signature Crónica design, black background, with a pretty bold border around it and shows the Crónica logo in transparent style, catalogue numbers, artist names and album title and the CD logo.

Now onto the pieces themselves, as I mentioned, listening to both pieces by Francisco López and Miguel A. García in sequence on this album does give a listening experience that feels more like one continuous piece rather than two solo works (Untitled #351 by Francisco López being track 1 and Applainesads by Miguel A. García being track 2) and this isn’t entirely surprising as the back cover states that both artists based their pieces on the same batch of source sounds that they also collaborated on within the creation process of that sound set itself. There is definitely a cross of sonic material on this album but while reading this description might make you wonder if that doesn’t render the compositions very similar to eachother, that’s not really the case. Instead the pieces compliment eachother. For a start, let’s look at López’ piece Untitled #351. Lopéz takes on a very dynamic, varied and intriguingly alien approach to his sound world and composition, giving us sounds we think we recognise but bringing these into very mysterious situations. Glimmering mechanical sounds backed with low sub bass pulsations often give the impression of some kind of strange abstract moving structure of particles glowing and twisting in front of you, in the dark night. This “night” suggestion is one I got from both pieces because the sound is very focused in a certain direction in the stereo field, often leaning to centre or a bit more to the right of the stereo field, this mixed with the curious separation in frequencies of the sonic spectrum in which the low end is very low, while other sonic energy floats in the mid-high – high end of the spectrum but has some quite prominent resonant frequencies sticking out quite a lot. Very quiet sections, quite lowercase are also prominent in López’ piece, with a quiet listening environment or headphones being a true requirement for this piece to be able to actually hear everything within it as the piece can vary from louder sections of at times, industrial styled sections of composed sound rhythms and metallic pulsations to very soft, sub-bassi sections of soft tones and tonal elements. This constant variation in manipulation, blend of sonic textures and at times surprisingly musical ways of handling sound through repeating rhythms or tones creates a listening experience that feels like a very nice fresh approach to soundscapes and the Sound Art field in general as while the sonic images are audibly rooted in concrete real-world sounds, the glimmering, glitchy, at times punchy rhythmic pulsations, bass throbs, metallic “percussion” textures and high frequency details together form an ever changing sonic landscape that moves from intense bright activity to sections of very subdued “hidden sounds” at the edge of the threshold of hearing, which creates a great depth, progression and “story line” to the piece which makes it a very memorable, inspiring immersive listen which I highly recommend. Because of the adventurous structure of the piece I also don’t want to spoil how this piece progresses but I can tell it’ll definitely give you whole fresh new perspective on how powerful and also fun sound art and composed soundscapes can be. Applainessads, Miguel A. García’s piece follows up López piece in a great way through a more drone based continuous kind of flowing soundscape which is more high end based in terms of sound spectrum and which features plenty of eerie strange sounds, some of which are recognisable as nature sounds, like crickets and wind. It forms a great extended coda to Untitled #351 with its mixture of nature sounds blended with metallic textures and resonating droning tones. But also this piece does feature its own kind of rhythmic elements in the form of hollow “drop” like sounds that appear quite distant, like water drops reverberating in a damp wet cave. I’d say this piece feels quite a lot like an examination of strange dust particles in the night air turned into a subtly evolving soundscape, like a brooding mostly continuing ambience of metallic resonant ghostly textures that feels both oddly alien and strange but also comforting organic and natural at the same time. Its differing compositional and textural style definitely does make it obvious as being a distinct different piece from López’ composition but the coherent metallic resonance that is also audible in López piece connects both together for a seamless experience and thereby forms an awesomely unique layered sonic journey that feels quiet at times and yet also so close in front of you.

Ekkert Nafn by Francisco López & Miguel A. García is definitely a very strongly recommended album and one of the best Crónica releases from this year as well. A thrilling, immersive and highly detailed sonic journey of concrete sound bordering on recognisable musical elements that unpredictably flows from one event to another and conjures up awesome nocturnal images of subdued or more “open” mystery through the mixtures of nature sounds, metallic mechanical sounds, resonances, sub bass rhythms and lush high frequency details. A highly recommended release for anyone into the composed side of soundscapes, sound art and fans of Drone, Industrial as well as perhaps Noise will also find familiar elements in these pieces to enjoy and with such expertly crafted textural compositions this is an album to re-listen many times. Definitely go check out this album. Orlando Laman

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@c’s “Espaço, Pausa, Repetição” reviewed by Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

Welcome to the 18th review in my ever continuing series on the Crónica label in which today I’m reviewing the new @c album Espaço, Pausa, Repetição which was released early this month. The album forms a bit of an anniversary for the label, being release 150 in total and also at the same time celebrating the 15th anniversary of the label (in 2018 that is) and even without reading the description of this release you can also, in a way, guess that from the 1, 5 numbers of the 150 catalogue number (if you use some maths and imagination). I’ve reviewed earlier works by @c on this blog before in which the Portuguese Sound Art / Electro-acoustic music duo used field recordings mixed with various other object, human and other concrete sounds as well as instrument recordings and music snippets. This album marks a different approach for @c however as the duo behind @c and Crónica (Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela) use more than 300 sound objects by a big selection of artists whose music and sound works have been released by Crónica to create the two compositions on this album, which I received first in digital form as review copy but after Miguel also kindly wanted to send me a physical review copy of the actual cassette tape version of Espaço, Pausa, Repetição I obviously gladly accepted to give the album a listen again and see what listening experience I would get through the analogue split up tape format. Espaço, Pausa, Repetição is an album that is linked to the piece Anotações Sonoras: Espaço, Pausa, Repetição that @c created through an invitation for new work from the Exhibitions Pavilion of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. This piece wasn’t an installation version of the two compositions on this album but actually an installation independent from the compositions on this album but it did use the same sound objects as source for the (aural) composition of the piece which besides the aural part also featured fragrances that were custom designed for the installation as well as a minimalist abstract designed frame and floor that together with bright light formed a kind of surreal subconsciously intruding total immersive experience of sound, light and fragrance which must have emitted an intriguing unique ambience as also the compositions on this album have a very non-linear, at times quite dadaist and varied pointy structure to them in which sonic materials are blended in such ways that beside their tonal or percussive, metallic, dissonant qualities they also have the ability to constantly change our perception, connection to the source of the sounds and even manipulate or create new thoughts and pictures in our minds. Inspiring sonic material indeed. Before I dive into the two pieces on this album, I’ll talk a bit about the presentation of the tape version itself. The cassette tape comes in a standard clear norelco case which showcases the lovely design work of this release rather well. The front cover (which is more expanded in the digital version) features design by Portuguese designer Márcia Novais who’s also created plenty of more vibrant typographic designs, often in poster form which you can find on her site. The cover image is derived from the original poster for the 2018 exhibition that featured Anotações Sonoras: Espaço, Pausa, Repetição and features the three capital letters from the words forming the title of the album in ever increasingly condensed strong type. An infinity symbol refers to the Repetição (repeat) part as being an infinite recursive type of cycle but can also refer to the fact that both for the installation and the compositions on this album a generative system was used to create the arrangements of sound, with a theoretical infinite number of combinations. The curling circles floating over the capital letters both add a nice kind of dynamic feel to the picture but could also refer both to the sound particles’ at times scattered arrangement as well as the organic movement of sound adding “light” to at times quiet moments in the compositions. A strong cover artwork which works as well on the smaller cassette tape format as well as the digital version of the release. The spine features the artist name and album title in Miguel Carvalhais’ signature Crónica uppercase type with the artist name in thinner type than the bold title. Besides this text aligned to the left, you can find the Crónica logo, catalogue number and release year (with a ~ creating a divide between the number and year). On the small back flap of the J-card you can find logos of the organisations that supported the installation and subsequent album release of this work by @c, backed with an extension of the cover image as a background. The cassette tape itself is in a bright white colour shell with on side A, the artist name and album title in the same style type as on the spine and side B featuring the Crónica logo, catalogue number and release year pressed in the same design too. On the flap of the J-card underneath the tape you will find the track division per side as well as track lengths, album credits, a shortened description of the original installation, artwork credits and thanks, copyright info and a link to the Crónica site. The back of this flap also features a nice black and white photo of the side of the installation, mostly showing the frame that was used but other than that the J-card is white, so the design is definitely quite minimalist but thereby also doesn’t spoil too much before listening.

Now, onto the two compositions themselves, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph these compositions have both rather unique structures as well as the ability to intrude within your mind through these varied and at times quite humorous sounds that flow from one to the other in unpredictable manner. First piece Espaço, Pausa (on side A of the tape) is probably a piece that might be a bit hard to get into at first listen as unlike other @c pieces it features many different sounds that often only occur once and follow a very abstract path with many of the sounds as being more rhythmic, metallic and resonant rather than featuring tones or recognisable droning ambience. Fear not however, this piece is a very rewarding listen as its kinetic structures of object sounds, instrument samples, electronic equipment sounds and much more offer intriguing, at times multi-layered sonic images that are very nicely panned in the stereo field, making for colourful dynamic sonic events in which some sound sources are recognisable but you’re also sometimes left wondering what some of these sounds actually are. The first half of the piece can be considered the most “fragmented” dynamic part of the piece as it features mostly separate sonic events that range from metallic rhythmic object sounds both twinkling and clanging in terms of texture, sometimes featuring gated reverb. Continuous paths of sound do also occur in this half but they’re still not falling into the category of recognisable drone ambiences necessarily. I feel this half is mostly comparable to a midnight stroll through the night and noticing all kinds of small short sounds around you, it has a nocturnal feeling to it with the huge amount of sounds scattering and shifting all around you in a kind of vacuum of silence as the space in which these sounds occur is quite diffuse, undefined and varies a lot from sound to sound throughout the piece. More often than not, the sounds are more recognisable as the originals than sounding manipulated which also makes the piece a hybrid between sound composition and a generative showcase of the various original sounds as a kind of tribute to all the artists who contributed to the pieces. This hybrid of composition and tribute is mostly apparent in this first half of the piece in which the scattered style of sound placement leaves quite a lot of separation of the sounds intact within the stereo space. The second half is when the composition moves into a more dense direction as whirring, noise, industrial sounds and metallic elements form an intense ever evolving soundscape of mechanical sonic movement that sometimes gets interrupted by glitchy choppy short collages of sounds. It’s this second half when the separate sonic elements also start to interact with each other more at times forming short melodic or rhythmic snippets (or longer patterns) of sound flowing into each other or cutting off other elements in the mix. @c always keeps a more distanced approach to the sonic material however and while the second half is denser with sound and movement the generative system still leaves a lot of the sounds themselves quite true to the originals. This first piece perfectly showcases that in @c’s and Crónica’s releases themselves the mixture of concrete sounds, manipulations and creation is always one in which artists respect their source material as a guide towards their sonic goal or if we look at the more improvisatory works, a sonic possibility. The fact that the sonic material works so well combined in the composition also shows the consistency in curation of Crónica and the infinite sonic awareness and inspiration these artists all have with @c’s compositions showing their strengths in building abstract sound collages and soundscapes that immerse you in fictional events and environments that feel human yet also at times quite alien through intriguing inventive sonic pictures. Second piece Repetição (on side B of the tape) juxtaposes the sonic elements with a male voice speaking phrases in both English and Portuguese which causes some curious combinations of the phrases and the sounds that follow. The piece follows quite a similar structure to Espaço, Pausa in that its first half is more choppy and fragmented sounding than the second half which features some more longer continuing industrial sonic elements and field recordings. This second piece is however in my opinion a bit stronger than Espaço, Pausa as the unpredictable nature of the pacing of the phrases and sounds that follow creates an effect of listening to a dadaist radio play. The connection between words and at times quite quirky combinations of sounds, whirring, squelchy, at times even a bit cartoon like sonic elements makes the piece quite directly engaging with the listener and there is a bit more of a recognisable compositional logic to grab on. Like mentioned in the description of the release, this piece is more like cataloguing the various sonic elements through abstract descriptions but the continuous flow of ever changing colourful textures is definitely very fun to listen through as even on second, third and more listens you’ll still be surprised by all the movement within the piece, dynamic, mixed source textures scattering and flowing through the stereo field, a great listening experience and on the cassette tape format it offers a nice “throwback” contrast to the more abstracted first side, indeed reminding me of the musique concrete works of Pierre Schaeffer though in modern hi-fi format in this case. So, a great piece to finish this album with definitely.

Espaço, Pausa, Repetição by @c forms both a tribute to the Crónica labels ever continuing legacy and strong artist roster of international sound artists and experimental musicians through a big batch of sound sources provided by them for these pieces and the original installation as well as generatively created compositions that follow @c’s path of inventive and immersive sound collages and soundscapes that don’t necessarily manipulate the sounds as much as blend and move them within the sonic space to create new situations, sonic events that can trigger curious sensations and images and thoughts in your mind and also hit you out of the blue with at times funny sounds that also adds playfulness to the mixture. Both pieces on this album take you on an extended journey of sonic adventure and while second piece Repetição is a bit stronger in its connection of the sounds themselves within the compositional structure, the more abstracted piece Espaço, Pausa is also a very rewarding and intriguing listen which also offers some crisp warm industrial ambience in its second half. I’d say that this release can very well be a great introduction for anyone who’s discovering Crónica for the first time as the great mixture of elements from all the artists featured as well as the execution of the compositions themselves is both a great example and independent work of Crónica’s ever continuing sonic journey crossing the boundaries of sound and music in exciting inspired and intriguing ways. A great release which I can definitely recommend to fans of sound collages and soundscapes in general as well as fans of Electro-acoustic (improvised) music. Check this out. Orlando Lamans out. Orlando Laman

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@c’s “Espaço, Pausa, Repetição” reviewed by Vital Weekly

There is quite a story behind this release by @C, the duo of Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais, who are also behind the Cronica Electronica label. The music here is part of a new work for the Exhibitions Pavilion of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto (still going until June) and @C are using sound sources by more than fifty musicians with whom the label worked in the last fifteen years, from Alex FX to Yiorgis Sakellariou – to give you the alpha and omega here. If you contributed, and you bet I did, it is a great sport hearing your own samples back in this work. The ‘work’ here is an installation piece, “an area for a multisensory immersive experience that incited a dialogue with the sound objects, the architectural space and its visitors. An infrastructure built from speakers, flooring, light, fragrance, and a hovering frame, set a stage for the creation of a nonlinear, generative and open algorithmic composition for computer and speakers. This area was a pivotal point for listening, but it also steered visitors to move, leaving the ideal listening point and exploring the exhibition space to discover how different perspectives over the sonic matter could be attained through its traversal” (sorry for the long quote, but couldn’t have said it better myself). The fifty artists supplied 300 smaller and bigger sounds and the two twenty-six minute pieces on this cassette use the generative system used in the installation but intended to be independent compositions. Both pieces are a myriad of sounds, tumbling and falling together and it sounds like the best of @C (even when it has surely been a while since I last heard their music). It is not easy to find a narrative in here, a guide, a line or whatever, as at times it is some wild chaos, but as a stream of consciousness, it works quite well. On the other side we find “Repetição” (Repetition), which has texts from “Le solfège de l’objet sonore” (Music Theory of the Sound Object), and Pierre Henry’s “House of Sounds”, also spaces concerning sound. Here the text is incorporated in the music and while some of the chaos remains, the modern version of musique concrete, there is more sense of spacing (pun perhaps intended) and it makes a great narrative that allows you not to pay too much attention to the voices. In here I recognized some voices of a then four-year-old year girl, who played a part on one of the earliest releases on this label, and who is now some sixteen years older. Times flies indeed. This is quite a successful release, most enjoyable. (FdW)

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Francisco López & Miguel A. García’s “Ekkert Nafn” reviewed by Badd Press

Artists who produce instrumental music – or to put it more precisely, music that doesn’t feature vocals – are often asked how they decide on titles. At the risk of sounding elitist, that always struck me as one of the dumber questions in music journalism. Sure, not all music lends itself naturally to a pithy title. But obviously the absence of lyrics doesn’t render the artist incapable of describing what he or she set out to communicate.

A new split disc by Francisco López and Miguel A. García appears to have struck a compromise. The album’s title Ekkert Nafn translates as “No Name.” Here’s to pragmatism.

The first piece, “Untitled #351,” is composed by López. The artist has built an impressive body of sound art and experimental music over four decades. López’s work has been enthusiastically received in more than 70 countries. He’s received four honourable mentions at the Ars Electronica Festival competition, and a Qwartz Award for best sound anthology.

This new work has an industrial feel. His source material is largely metallic and abrasive. Those sounds are processed, and then offset with stretches of quiet, or even silence. These breaks temper the overall harshness of the piece. But they also add tension, as we wait apprehensively for what comes next.

The second half of the disc features García’s “Applainessads.” Also known as Xedh, the Bilbao, Spain-based sound artist is best known for his work in electroacoustic composition and improvisation. García has performed his work in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. He’s also appeared on more than 100 recordings.

“Applainessads” hums like hydro wires stretched over an open field. After a kind of white-noise opening, the piece turns increasingly minimalist as its 28 ½ minutes plays out. The effect is serene, but not quite comforting.

The two works complement one another nicely. Both feature sounds associated with the 20th century, processed with the intention of producing 21st century art. At the same time, there are sufficient differences between the two to make the shared album work.

The evolving ease of “Applainessads” is a welcome response to the tension built up by “Untitled #351.” García’s fluidity is an absorbing contrast to López’s banging stops and starts. Kevin Press

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Luís Antero & Darius Čiuta’s “Sound” reviewed by Neural

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Just two tracks, “G”, twenty minutes long, and “S”, thirty-three minutes and thirty-six seconds. It’s this the debut of the duo Luís Antero e Darius Čiuta for Crónica. The album is the result of a very personal exploratory process that seems to question the intimate and abstract nature of the sounds. As a result, the album has a double aspect, sound and graphics, but it has the same kind of information. With Soundwe are almost close to the perception limits of the human ear, despite there are many low frequencies, somebody would be able to hear them. Sounds who are really heard and sounds who are just presumed sum up together, giving the result to increase the perception and also our capability to imagine vibrational phenomena. Fritjof Capra explained that “the subatomic particles and all the matter they form, including our cells, tissues and bodies, are made by frames of activities, rather than things”, and all the matter is energy existing as vibration. No sound is possible without vibrational phenomena, as the sound needs some means (generally the air or another elastic vector) and a source. The number of times this vibrational movement is being repeated during the time, it’s called frequency. Always around us there are sounds emissions of every kind, you just need to have some perception of them, or amplify the volume of what is infinitesimal. In this case we simply used some good headphones, because even with some top computers speakers it would have been hard to recognize something. What comes out (from the headphones) is a buzz that is more intense and soft in “G”, with frequencies mostly low, whereas in “S” the vibes seem to be more close, maybe because the frequencies are even lower than in the first track and it’s necessary to push them to get more clear. We are here facing some very extreme listening experiences, that might lead to meditation states only if you let yourself go and you want to do it getting lost in a hypnotic, minimal and continuous movement. The duo doesn’t make any discount and the pleasure of the experience can be mediated only if you take the full responsibility of listening. As W.S. Borroughs said, “you can’t just go to the dessert, darling”. To enjoy something, you must be there. Aurelio Cianciotta

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Haarvöl + Xoán-Xil López’s “Unwritten Rules for a Ceaseless Journey” reviewed by Music Map

Gli Haarvöl sono una formazione elettronica e sperimentale portoghese che nel 2012 ha avviato un progetto ambizioso, con il quale tentano di esplorare le proprietà del suono per creare ambientazioni cinematiche. Qualche mese fa, il trio ha collaborato con Xoán-Xil López, musicista e sound artist originario della Galizia, anch’egli già impegnato in alcuni progetti sperimentali. Da questo incontro è nato “Unwritten rules of a ceaseless journey”, album (appena uscito per Crónica Records) di circa tre quarti d’ora che raccoglie tre pezzi composti per la danza, su commissione del Ballet Teatro, per lo spettacolo ”Revoluçoes” del coreografo Né Barros. Ad aprire l’album è “Something’s missing (utopia)”, che si apre con suoni industriali e poi conosce una fase decisamente più rarefatta, nonostante qualche timida increspatura spezzi il fluire limpido del brano. In coda, voci lontane e suoni percussivi creano un senso di inquietudine che però scompare con “Pulsating waves (reality)”, che invece si apre con suoni scarni e segue un andamento lineare, fatto di saliscendi, prima di un finale in cui si accumulano distorsioni ed echi. “Don’t look back, run (Trauma)” inizia, invece, con un respiro affannoso e, più o meno per tutta la sua durata, vede i suoni aprirsi e chiudersi, tra lampi e silenzi. “Unwritten rules of a ceaseless journey” è un lavoro che mette il gusto per la sperimentazione al servizio del teatro e della danza: al netto della sua complessità, un prodotto estremamente affascinante. (Piergiuseppe Lippolis)

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@c’s “Espaço, Pausa, Repetição” reviewed by Silence and Sound

L’abstraction en musique, n’est pas une inconnue dans l’oeuvre de Miguel Carvalhais et Pedro Tudela aka @c, tant chaque album tire son sens de l’environnement dans lequel il se déplace, virtuellement ou réellement à travers les enceintes, créant des zones mobiles au croisement du conceptuel et de la poésie.

Conçu pour une exposition à la Faculty of Fine Arts de Porto, Espaço, Pausa, Repetição n’est qu’un rendu parmi d’autres, de par sa conception chargée de formules aléatoires et de possibilités infinies, puisant sa matière première dans les albums d’autres artistes issus du label Crónica et découpés en minuscules tronçons, ceux-ci ressuscitant à travers un florilège de contact entrelacés.

L’histoire de l’électro-acoustique et de la musique contemporaine se voient réécrites via le travail de @c, trouvant avec Espaço, Pausa, Repetição, une certaine forme de finalité radicale et irrévocable, à l’image des Dadaïstes dans l’Art, dont le point culminant est l’utilisation du mode random pour effacer toute trace passée et ne laisser au présent que le loisir de courir derrière un futur en zigzag. Fondamental. Roland Torres

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New release: Francisco López & Miguel A. García’s “Ekkert Nafn”

The collaborative album Ekkert Nafn was composed from sound materials collected by Francisco López and Miguel A. García. Some of these materials were derived from field recordings, others from electrical and mechanical devices, all were manipulated with digital tools to varying degrees. After compiling the collection of sounds, both artists proceeded to compose independently, arriving to pieces that inevitably intersected each other’s aesthetics. In the two chimeric works presented in this album, we may recognise each artist’s authorial identity intertwined with the other’s in multiple and surprising ways. The title of the release is actually yet another manifestation of this superposition: García often uses invented words to title his pieces, looking for sounds and forms that somehow connect with the music. Sometimes, within these invented words, he discovers words from languages he does not understand. Ekkert Nafn happens to not be made up of invented words — although it could have been — but is composed by two Icelandic words that translate to the quintessential López title, No Name.

Francisco López is internationally recognised as one of the major figures of the sound art and experimental music scene. For forty years he has developed an astonishing sonic universe, absolutely personal and iconoclastic, based on a profound listening of the world. Destroying boundaries between industrial sounds and wilderness sound environments, shifting with passion from the limits of perception to the most dreadful abyss of sonic power, proposing a blind, profound and transcendental listening, freed from the imperatives of knowledge and open to sensory and spiritual expansion. He has hundreds of concerts, projects, workshops and sound installations in over seventy countries of the six continents. His extensive catalog of sound works has been published worldwide, including live and studio collaborations with hundreds of international artists. He has been awarded four times with honorary mentions at the competition of Ars Electronica Festival and is the recipient of a Qwartz Award for best sound anthology.

Miguel A. García (aka Xedh) is a restless sound artist living in Bilbao. Trained in Fine Arts, he works on electroacoustic composition and improvisation, using sources obtained from the manipulation of electrical devices, sometimes mixing these with sounds of acoustic instruments and field recordings. He has performed extensively across Europe, America and Asia, and appeared on more than a hundred albums. He is also part of the coordination of Hotsetan en Azkuna Zentroa, founder of Klub Larraskito, and director of the Zarata Fest festival, all of them platforms for the diffusion of risky music and related disciplines.

This is a joint release with Tronicdisease.

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