Posted on Mar 6th 2012 12:38 am
14 Tracks. 121mins24secs
There are few stranger ways to open a double album of sonic experimentations than by a display of hearty snores, but it is exactly the approach adopted by Francisco López for his latest album, Untitled (2009), with opening piece Untitled #220. Furthermore, he emphasises the effect later on with Untitled #239, during which he plays with his sound source to give it even more prominence. As always with López though, whether these are indeed snores surreptitiously captured, processed field recordings or playful electronics is left to the listener’s imagination.
Over the years, Spanish born Francisco López has built a considerable catalogue of material, released on numerous labels, and he has produced a number of sound installations which have allowed him to expand on his sonic experimentations further and interact with his audience in a more proactive way.
Unlike most of his releases, where he favours long experimentations, Untitled (2009), López’s second output on Baskaru, following his 2009 collaboration with Lawrence English, is composed of fourteen tracks clocking at anything from two and a half to twenty minutes, during which he simultaneously explores quite a wide range of sound spaces, from seemingly intensely organic to unreservedly electronic structures, with no particular connection between them. Yet, placed within the wider context of this record, there is a sense of overall framework which, whilst far from forming a clear or consistent narrative, hints at some sort of progression, however vague.
The same confusion of sources which serves Untitled #220 and #239 is applied elsewhere, from the cackles and squeals of #233, which evoke the noisy surroundings of a nature reserve or a tropical jungle, yet which may very well be composed entirely of tiny electronic fragments, or the stormy set up which slowly spreads over a bustling bed of electronic crackles to the various deployments of undefined noises (#240, #237, #238). López purposely blurs the boundaries of acoustic, organic and electronic with his work and creates odd sonic spaces with are at once intensely human and totally alien, and, like many of his previous records, Untitled (2009) at times sound like some random collection of incidental noises and sounds which could have been sourced from a sci-fi TV series, with the obvious absence of visual support actually allowing for the mind to give its own interpretation of what it perceives. Whether the sounds heard here are organic or artificial is actually irrelevant here, as López doesn’t attempt to recreate any particular environment, but focuses instead on building something entirely new.
What makes this record an interesting offering is the diversity of sonic spaces Francisco López creates, and their consequent development, whether these happen over an extremely condensed timeframe of benefit of a much more expanded platform. Untitled (2009) is an often intriguing and disconcerting records which actively seeks to interact with the listener’s perception as only López can devise.