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Aquarius + Zuydervelt * Presidiomodelo

Glass Palace

Glass Palace

RENÉ AQUARIUS & RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – GLASS PALACE  Also on Spotify

When you’re familiar with the surprising Dead Neanderthals release Life from april this year, ánd know the two artists have always been closely related, this collaboration of Rutger ‘Machinefabriek‘  Zuydervelt and René Aquarius will hardly surprise you. The duo does not spend much words explaining this album: they just refer to it as their ‘third collaboration in 2018’ (after The Red Soul and Smelter).

Glass Palace feels like a logical step after Life: a 34 minute drone piece that hardly seems to change on a first listen but where a lot of things are going on actually.

It feels as a recording of processes inside a cyborg-like life form that is slowly retreating from activity.
Or like watching a fascinating organic activity through a microscope at first, but gradually increasing the viewing distance.
Or earthly observations starting from a clear viewpoint but then retreating, like an astronaut watching Earthly struggles, putting all irrelevant global worries into a cosmic perspective.
With increasing distance, details become unimportant.

Or… ????
Oh well, just forget these desperate descriptions. While I’m writing this I realise that it is impossible to describe a sound like this with words.
I understand now why Zuydervelt and Aquarius did not even try to describe the sound of their Glass Palace: don’t over think it, just go with the experience.


presidiomodelo

PRESIDIOMODELO – THE INNER EMPIRE  Also on Spotify

I had never heard about the Siberian trio Presidiomodelo until this release, and was surprised to find out that they released a split cassette release with Machinefabriek earlier this year on Tandem Tapes.
The Inner Empire is also released on tape, with a 15 minute part of the soundscape on each side. Of course there’s a digital download option, too.

With related concepts like the Shaman (‘priest of the devil’), permafrost, Soviet labour camps  and other worlds (to which the Shaman has access) the context of this soundscape is rather dark.
“Misty atmospheres infused with a murky, industrial aesthetic – a meditation on themes of self confinement and interior exile.”

“Rumbling synths oscillate amongst delicate beds of chimes whilst ghostly chants and guttural tones vibrate around the sound of handmade instruments and hypnotic drums.”

The original music for this set was composed for theatre, so the different sections merge into each other like changing scenes. A soundscape full of suspense and inescapability, like a compelling horror movie.

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Miguel Isaza * France Jobin * PinkCourtesyPhone

France Jobin Scenes

Miguel Isaza

MIGUEL ISAZA – MACONDO  Also on Spotify

Macondo is a town described in Gabriel Garciá Marquez’s 100 Years Of Solitude – a town ‘hard to declare as fully real or fictional; an archetype of the magical-real; an interstitial town, where things are, but are not.’

This description is also fitting for Miguel Isaza‘s music on this album: it is, and it is not (a fitting description of ‘ambient music’ by the way), and it is hard to tell if the sources used for this music are real or fictional.
Translated, the track titles emphasize this: ‘(1) The world was so recent (2) that many things lacked names, (3) and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point…’

The tracks for Macondo were composed in Medellin, Colombia using materials gathered since 2012. The compositions were used in various audio-visual installations and performances, but their magical-realistic quality is perfectly captured on this (digital only) release.


France Jobin Scenes

FRANCE JOBIN – SCENES  Also on Spotify

Also on Line, also ethereal and elusive (and also digital-only) is France Jobin‘s Scenes, her third album for the label: four Scènes created on the Serge and Buchla 200 modular synths as well as the Nord modular, with additional processed guitar played by Marco de Leonibus). 

France Jobin is a ‘sound-sculpturist’ from Montreal, Canada, with a ‘minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect.’
Apart from her releases on Line, she has previously released music on labels like Staalplaat, Room40, Baskaru etc. and is internationally renowned for her installations and screenings at museums and festivals.

Immersive (drone) pieces, each with relatively short length (varying from 7 to 15 minutes, 42 minutes in total), wrapping around you like a warm blanket.


Indelicate Slices

PINKCOURTESYPHONE – INDELICATE SLICES  Also on Spotify

Pinkcourtesyphone is a more emotional, dare one say musical side of [Richard Chartier’s] work. Dark but not arch, with a slight hint of humor. Amorphous, changing, and slipping in and out of consciousness”

Indelicate Slices is full of dark looped tracks that could’ve been written for horror movie soundtracks. “A creak, a glance. Nothing is for certain anymore. Seven excellent examples of negative mood music.”
That may suggest this could be violent music, but the opposite is true: the most frightening horror is not gory slashers but subtle suspense. And Richard Chartier is very good at subtle suspense. While at the same time, the ‘PCP’ albums also have a touch of relativating humor, which enhances the musical impact.

Indelicate Slices presents seven tracks (70 minutes) of varied length, ranging from 2 minute sketches (Problematic Interior (Den)) to a 24 minute atmospheric Minimumluxuryoverdose filled with static crackle, ominous metallic dragging sounds and an inescapable deep rumble.

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