Sunday, November 11, 2018

Julien Desprez and Luis Lopes - Boa Tarde (Shhpuma, 2018)

This album is a collaboration between two electric guitar players, Julien Desprez from France and Luis Lopes from Portugal, and they use their instruments as a way to sculpt and paint with sound as a physical artist would, using noise as their palate and the air around them as the canvas. "Iris" is the first and most lengthy track, one that begins slowly and patiently with gradually building tones, probing the space around them. Using patches of feedback and altered sound the music is subtly altered, as waves of sound drift outward, with the musicians piling tone and sound upon each other building an edifice of noise and creeping forward movement. At about the half way mark, grinding slashes of guitar appear and lead to a faster murkier grinding sound pushing their amplifiers into higher volume and states of feedback. They are really going for broke, creating a thrilling improvisation, shredding ever faster, and playing with blinding speed and facility, later shifting to a quieter but no less energetic section. "Adelaide" is a shorter piece with more menacing guitars scraping and crunching, moving quickly into a maelstrom of sound with no preamble. The guitars lash out with bolts of electricity as the music turns jagged and chaotic with great blasts of pure electronic noise at the center of the action. The second long track, "Gracinda," uses grinding sounds like industrial machinery to set a powerful foundation for the improvisation that follows. Like men at work, taking larger slabs of music and smashing them into granules, the music progresses, adding and withdrawing textures and approaches for the manipulation of sound, and varying the amount of energy they use. From blasts of migraine static to near silent scans of the cosmos. The musicians work together, never trying to blow the other away, but building on their partner's ideas. The finale is "Constanca" which has an eerie and ghostly beginning, horror movie vibe, with long arcing tones that seem to bend around corners and peek around the other side to piercing jabs of sound hitting the payoff with an all or nothing blowout. This was a very interesting and well made album, it's certainly not for everybody, but if you are a fan of noise or experimental music it is highly recommended. Boa Tarde -

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