THE A: Z (Imaginary Nonexistent Records)


Posted on Apr 18th 2012 01:31 am

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The A: Z

Imaginary Nonexistent Records 2012
11 Tracks. 35mins18secs

iTunes: DLD

Who, or what, is The A is a closely guarded secret. The very few clues provided on the Imaginary Nonexistent Records website, where the album is available to download for free, tell that The A is a HE, that he lives in Madrid, that he mixes ‘field recordings, graphic design and photography to create subconscious dream music’. Recording under one of the most un-Google friendly names around (try searching for The A: Z and see where this may take you) could be Joan Malé, who set up Imaginary Nonexistent Records to release the music he collects as Monoceros, or one of his regular pals, and listening to Z provides no further clues to the real identity of the musician who declares on the label’s site to want listeners to come to his music without preconceptions.

Whatever these preconceptions may have been, Z is in itself an intriguing record. Minimal, yet complex and intricate, it is a somewhat ambitious collection of broken electronica and dense sonic experimentations, built in part from a seemingly vast and varied pool of field recordings and processed into pieces which call upon fuzzy reference points. If opening piece Lullaby Landscapes is vaguely reminiscent of early Plaid, things rapidly take on a much more arid noise-orientated path with B Plex Voices, paving the way for the approach which characterise much for this album. Despite being set upon a groove of sort, Improv Notte is a moody piece built from odd percussive noises, whilst later, Waterflies sounds like the distorted sounds of bees relentlessly flying in and out of a hive on a warm summer’s day, and Centipede 44 and Centipede 45 Subconscious are its human equivalents. On the former, people are heard walking past and talking, interestingly doing so very distinctly in French (a clue perhaps to the nationality of the artist, or not) as sparse electronic components are placed, apparently at random, on a layer above, whilst on the latter, similar crowd noises are buried deep under glacial gusts of wind and more structured electronics.

Music pieces are not entirely absent here, but they are often reduced to a few minimal chords. Nighpark And Parking Station At 00:47 has little more to offer than a rather comatose beat, but at one point, there is a short assault of gritty squelches which is not without recalling Public Energy No. 1-era Speedy J. Later, Rain is a particularly ascetic and cold piece of ambient, resembling at times a lesser textural Thomas Köner, its miniature drones refusing to carry any emotion at all. Opium And Maths is a more accessible piece, hinting at the gentle side of Pan Sonic, its abrasive components used in oddly forgiving capacities, while Original Soundtrack, which closes the album, finds some of its roots in musique concrète, its intense and short releases of noise, placed on the surface of strident processed electronics, contributing heavily to create a rather disturbing atmosphere to end this record.

Z is an oddly disparate record which could have turned out a complete disaster as so many different sonic spaces are made to cohabit in a very short period of time. In the expert hand of The A though, this is executed with great confidence and maturity, resulting in an album which actually holds itself extremely well. Whoever is The A, this album is well worth tracking down.


Imaginary Nonexistent Records
iTunes: DLD

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