[ reviews ]

le chemin du paradis29. le chemin du paradis [ rec. 2002 ]

> rel. 2002 - CD Fario, France ()
Francisco López & Steve Roden "Le chemin du paradis" (CD - Fario, 2002)
As always in the case of this kind of material, the debate is open: how does silence affect a composition? How can one accept a record that can be listened only at high volume, in headphones, or in the utter silence? How can you judge sounds bordering on an infinite silent bliss? "Untitled n°129" by López, contained here, is almost 30 minutes in which very few sounds can be heard, all at exceptionally low volume. But you can detect a rumbling underground vibration in your head, you'd always fear something's going to explode. Roden's "Slab/Tilt" is slightly more accessible, moving undescribable blowing electronics from the left to the right - and vice versa - in the stereo field. The collaborative track giving the record its name is the most "continuous" one, with low reverbs and lunar halos.
At the end, I keep thinking this is a new way to listen, for which we must develop our perception level. The jury is still out but my vote is already favourable to deafening silences. www.touchingextremes.org (Italy, January 2003)

Francisco López & Steve Roden "Le chemin du paradis" (CD - Fario, 2002)
Francisco López is well known in the drone-scene for his amazing sound recording and sound-manipulation of natural phenomena. Recording rainforests, underwater life, etc. He often ranges from very silent and total quietness to huge walls of sound. Steve Roden is best known for his In between Noise project, that did lots of recordings on special sites, such as unused buildings, etc. The recording aspect of these artists makes them fit together perfectly.
This CD presents three long tracks, one by each artist and a collaboration. It starts out with the collaboration, which is a beautiful drone
of deep sound, like being deep under a mountain, or deep under water, and you hear the pressure. This is sometimes intervened with typical López' silence parts. The next track is by Steve Roden, and is quite a bit lighter and less droney.
It sounds more sporadic and quite meditative, like taking your microphone for a walk through a field of grass or something. The third track is by López, and is far more silent than the other tracks, being mostly silent with some sparse ultra-low rumbling.
This CD is a nice introduction to both artists work, and comes recommended. Also please note that López will perform at this year's
Sonic Acts festival in Amsterdam. His performances are very spectacular as the entire audience is usually blindfolded. www.funprox.com (2003)

Francisco López & Steve Roden "Le chemin du paradis" (CD - Fario, 2002)
Roden and López - you can recognise their affinities and also their differences. Both work at low volume on long slowly changing pieces, but Roden is based more on real objects compared to López's electronic 'untitled' series (although one can't forget 'La Selva'). On this disk there is a collaboration and two solo pieces. The title track is the collaboration, and shifts through a number of stages. A soft electronic low drone with a ringing in it opens, adding a cycling high tone and scritchy tingle/scrabble that slowly build. Then a squeaky door, though possibly a flute and bigger rumble with subtle tones in, as a big buzzing grows and rolls over the other sounds with an open drone (though the scrabble holds on for a while). Little noises and clangs then a big vent opens which drops rapidly to a soft wind and then silence. Soft noises and then a rumble ringing and high tone with a fluttering deep tactile sound (hard to describe) that seems flattened the fades to ahigh organ sustain and long fade with a flutey hiss. Quite a bit of movement through here, subtle and intense. Roden then offers 'Slab/tilt (schindler house 4)' which is obviously related to the Schindler recording. It builds from scrapey rubbing that shifts around the sound space, adds a tapping, a hiss and a schlerp and finally a hollow breath-like scrape. These weave around each other, adding organish tones and a whistling later, for a more typical static movement. Then there is López's 'Untitled #129', which really does need the earphones - on most systems it is largely inaudible unless at high volume. Even then there are minutes of quiet at the beginning before clicks and woobly rumbles, more quiet before an almost Roden-like click-scrape and finally a period of puttering activity before silence again. As with others in the 'Untitled' series it plays around with expectations and deserves to be heard - somehow! Completing an nicely contrasted triptych of tracks for fans of both musicians. http://ampersandetc.virtualave.net (2003)

Francisco López & Steve Roden "Le chemin du paradis" (CD - Fario, 2002)
Consideres a juste titre comme les deux maótres d'une musique microscopique, confinant souvent aux abómes du silence, l'espagnol Francisco López et le Californien Steve Roden (In Be Tween Noise) ne pouvaient faire autrement que se rencontrer un jour. Rendons donc grace au label Fario d'avoir pu rendre possible cette collaboration, avec "Le Chemin du Paradis", au design aussi minimaliste que la musique qu'il abrite. S'ouvrant par une piste assez dense compose de concert par López et Roden, "Le Chemin du Paradis" se rele`ve seme d'embuches. Un long suffle aux allures de drone entrecoupe de silences servant d'assise a` des crepitements et des grondements d'infra-basses. Les enregistrements minimalistes au micro-contact de Steve Roden prennent la suite pur venir se poser de facon abrupte sur des nappes etoufflees avant que Francisco López ne vienne fermer le bal avec une demi'heure d'un silence quasi-religieux, tout juste hante de quelques presences fantomiques. C'est su^r, "Le Chemin du Paradis" passe par ici. D-Side (France, 2003)