[ reviews ]

live in san francisco36. live in san francisco [ rec. 2003 ]

> rel. 2005 - CD 23Five, USA (website)
Francisco López "Live in San Francisco" (CD - 23Five, 2005)
With his ongoing pursuit of an 'absolute concrète music,' Francisco López has recontextualized the sounds of the world around us by pushing these sounds to their polar extremes. At times, he has imposed gaping silences and eradicated all but the slightest traces of musicality; at others, he has turned the placid wash of rainforest insect chatter into mechanically toxic drones and twisted a gentle breeze into a hurricane force blast of raw sound. The ambient din of the urban environment, human voices, the run-out grooves of vinyl, and even propulsive death metal blast beats count as some of the choicest source material with the imposing López catalogue, which includes well over 130 published works. Over his illustrious career, López has traveled extensively both recording his source material and giving acousmatic performances for which he insists the audience members wear blindfolds. Over the years, the sound-arts organization 23five Incorporated has sponsored numerous López performances in and around San Francisco; and it is only fitting that 23five should publish this document of live recordings from San Francisco, with one track culled from the infamous Hexaphonic show at The Lab in August 2000, and the other from an intimate performance at 3feetofftheground in July 2001. The spectral timbres and ominous somatic fluctuations of those performances inspired some audience members to gush: 'It was just amazing how he layered the tracks together into massive lump of sonic force. Totally different from what can be heard on many of his releases which tend to be minimal and silent. I was craving for more. López rocks!'. As with the previous Live in 'S-Hertogenbosch document, Live in San Francisco comes with a blindfold to enhance the phenomonological experience of López's dramatic compositions. Forced Exposure (USA), 2005

Francisco López "Live in San Francisco" (CD - 23Five, 2005)
The discography of senor López is an extensive one, but only a few deal with live recordings. The only one that springs to mind is his 'Live In 's-Hertogenbosch' on Bottrop-boy, which came, just like this new live recording, with a blindfold (which he insists that the audience should wear). Francisco López live is something different than Francisco López studio. In the latter he carefully constructs pieces of silent music, almost inaudible, that only start to make sense if the listener takes over control by adjusting volume, bass, mid and treble. The listener doesn't have this control in the live situation and here López goes for the all out attack on the listener, who, with his blindfold, can do nothing else than sit back and listen. This CD has two pieces (rather unusual for López), both recorded in San Francisco. The first one is from 2000 and starts right away with an oppressive wall of sound, until things collapse with great dramatic care. From there the proceedings start all over again, building up yet again another dramatic crescendo. When it stops, the sounds is literally sucked away. The second track is a different one. Much less present in the space, this is a softer piece, although it doesn't come anywhere near his studio CDs. Here too it can be noted that there is quite a dramatic built, with abrupt changes. Most likely this is built from field recordings made in the jungle, but with an undefinable background drone being present. Two entirely different performances, but both bear the signature of López. And it's great stuff. Vital weekly (The Netherlands), 2005