[ reviews ]

live in montreal37. live in montreal [ rec. 2004 ]

> rel. 2005 - CD Alien8 Recordings, Canada ()
Francisco López "Live in Montreal" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2005)
After several years of his 'Untitled' releases, Francisco López now seems to be on a new track: releasing (older) live recordings. Of course in the past he released some ('Belle Confusion' on Trente Oiseaux for instance), but 'Live In Montreal' is already the third, following 'Live In 's-Hertogenbosch' and 'Live In San Francisco', whereas we haven't seen much new 'Untitled' pieces. I will not speculate as to the reason for this. Let us safely assume that López just has a bunch of interesting live recordings to release from his vaults. All three come with a blindfold. In the first part of this work, López builds up with great care and precision, with a dark unearthly rumble, adding some sort of falling metal sound until a more high pierced sound comes in, that sounds like a serious gas leakage. There is a sudden break at some sixteen minutes, after the which the piece follows a more introspective mood. Here too machine noises seem to be the principal sound sources, but they are densely layered and manipulated, so that they sound like slowed down chanting voices. A sudden bang ends the louder part of the piece, but it takes another six minutes to fade out. A good, typical Francisco López live show. Excellent recording quality and one you shouldn't miss out on. Vital Weekly (The Netherlands), 2005

Francisco López "Live in Montreal" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2005)
This live offering marks our fourth release with Madrid, Spain's Francisco López in as many years. Over the same period we have organized nearly a dozen live events with the artist. This release documents an especially memorable performance from 2002.

I can vividly remember, following this particular performance as I exited the venue to make my way home, being greeted by a rather intense display of thunder and lightning. It was one of those classic electrical storms and it felt like the perfect ending to a Francisco López concert. While it may be a little difficult to relive that particular aspect of the evening, this recording, packaged with a blindfold will allow one to come as close as possible to actually having attended this event.

Live in Montreal commences very quietly as a barely audible hiss, which proceeds to build in intensity until the sixteen minute mark, then falls back into silence for a few seconds before advancing into the next movement of the piece. At this point the performance takes on a more scary and sinister shape. Sounds seem to move in all directions. It is absolutely mind blowing what Francisco López is able to achieve using equalization and a quadraphonic speaker set up.

There are percussive elements to this piece that are fresh and unusual that last for about five minutes from the 20 to 25 minute mark. They eventually fade out giving way to an increasingly powerful drone that is classic López. The sounds during this portion of the recording are incredibly rich and dense. At times you think you can detect elements of a >string quartet in the distance or tape stretching of a vocal choir. At the 32 minute mark the recording starts to fade out the same way it began and while it is a long piece, it certainly has feel of a complete work.

This CD is neatly packaged in a transparent smoked charcoal jewel case and includes a blindfold and printed insert. Alien8 Website (Canada), 2005

Francisco López "Live in Montreal" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2005)
As a big believer in sensory deprivation in pursuit of a better listening experience, Francisco López has gratiously included a blindfold with his latest one-track live CD. As critical analyses of blindfolds go, my review is damning. The flimsy material of a blindfold does nothing to restrict vision apart from making things a little darker. Dispensing with the blindfold I decided to just listen to the CD in the dark. What the piece of cloth does for blindfolds, López does the opposite for music. Live in Montreal is mesmerising. A low hum pervades the piece, creating an atmosphere of warmth and danger. It sounds like heavy machinery working deep beneath the ground and indeed the room tremors like there is something pulsing from below. López interweaves other hums and deep booms on top of the main sound, at times I felt I was in a deep cavern and something was coming towards me (think of HP Lovecraft writing the scene with the trembling cup of water in Jurassic Park). When López finally lulled me into some sort of security he releases the odd unpredictable clamour or unexpected silence to shock me back into paying attention. López uses the old combination of found sounds and drones in a refreshing manner, what appears to be a recording of rain on a metal roof is processed subtly to become what I imagine electricity firing through your nervous system would sound like. The one caveat with Live in Montreal is that it needs a decent stereo system, the range of sounds López uses is immense. At times the graphic equaliser on my stereo couldn't even register the sounds. López is incredibly skilled in creating sonic sculptures and this album has captured his talent very faithfully. www.brainwashed.com, 2005.