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solid state sex / solid state flesh39. solid state sex / solid state flesh [ rec. 2004 ]

> rel. 2005 - CD Low Impedance Recordings, Greece (website)
Francisco López / Scott Arford - "Solid State Flesh / Solid State Sex" (double-CD Low Impedance, 2005)
Perhaps it took Scott Arford winning honorable mention at the 2005 Ars Electronica to get this split release with Francisco López to come out. These two pieces were originally recorded back in 2002 and had been slated for release by a couple of different labels, until Low Impedence had the sense to finally just do it. Curiously enough, this is one of several releases to come pouring out of Arford's 7hz studios after a couple of years of silence. Electricity appears to the source material and subject matter for the two composers on Solid State Flesh & Solid State Sex. The latter is the work of Mr. Arford who has always had a penchant for hard, blistered noises and cacophonic feedback squallor; and those sounds are heavily featured here punctuating the deadened buzz of smoldering electricity. It's hard to think of this as being sexy music or even sexual music given the electrocutionist throb of Arford's sounds, thus lending to plenty of transgressive readings if you're so inclined. On the slightly more voluptuous Solid State Flesh, López expands the monotone of 60 cycle hums and the hissing buzz of electrical static through his signature compositional strategy of slow-burning tumult which abruptly halt and annouce a prolonged passage of inactivity. Unlike some of his Belle Confusion pieces, Solid State Flesh adds a considerable menace to his self-professed absolute concrete, but nevertheless is very well done and an excellent companion to Arford's work. Aquarius Records website (USA, 2005)

Francisco López / Scott Arford - "Solid State Flesh / Solid State Sex" (double-CD Low Impedance, 2005)
This is of course how these things go. Last week we reviewed a new Scott Arford and noted that he doesn't have that many releases and now a week later, we can review a double CD of collaborative work he did with Francisco López. It's been a while since I last heard a studio recording by Señor López, and was quite surprised to hear this. Apparently it deals with electricity, recordings thereof, me thinks. López' seventy-two minute piece 'Solid State Flesh' is quite different than much of other studio works, as most of the time it is quite presently there, even when the volume drops dramatically. That's the second difference with much of his previous work: López uses the form of sound collage here, cutting abruptly from one section into another. The music feels less organic than before, probably due to the nature of the recordings used. However, lesser organic or not, it's very solid (pun intended) piece of music, of changing atmospheres and moods.
Scott Arford's disc is called 'Solid State Sex' and sort of sounds similar to López's work (I guess this depends on which disc ones plays first), except that Arford has clearly divided his tracks into tracks. In each of them he searches for a specific idea or sound, and works that out into a specific track, before moving on to the next track. Another difference is that Arford never leaps into the really soft territory (although López doesn't either that much) and in general sounds a bit meaner than López. But he does a very fine job, much along similar lines as 'Radio Station', reviewed last week. A very match these two. Vital Weekly (The Netherlands, 2005)

Francisco López / Scott Arford - "Solid State Flesh / Solid State Sex" (double-CD Low Impedance, 2005)
This double CD pairs two of the most eminent manipulators of expansions and contractions born from a competent work on electroacoustic derivations. In "SSF", López explores a vast dynamic range, his phenomenal experience on the thresholds of audibility partially put aside in favour of a painstaking process of impressive modifications and overwhelming energies whose effect is comparable to a separation of your senses. Torrents of electricity, pumping lows and shattering vibrations take this music to the highest level of magnitude, putting López's work in the same rank of John Duncan's and Daniel Menche's best; this is one of the most complete compositions I've heard from Francisco, his controlled disorder also being a powerful means of self-introspection. Arford's "SSS" fuses more concrete sources with equally awesome low-frequency engineering; as opposed to his Spanish counterpart, Scott's scenarios change abruptly, often surprisingly after our psyche is lulled during long moments of semi-displacement. Arford places his morphing sounds in an evolving framework of resonant interferences, hisses and utterances that have "anxiousness" spelled all over the place. Getting the brain and the auricular membranes used to this shifting bubbling takes its time - but once you learn going with this overloaded flow, the reward in terms of nerve power is a sure thing. www.touchingextremes.org (Italy), 2005