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hysechasterion47. hysechasterion [ rec. 2006 ]

> rel. 2006 - CD Antifrost, Greece (website)
Ilios / Francisco López - "Hysechasterion" (CD Antifrost, Greece 2006)
Ilios and López recorded the sounds of a monastery in the Greek mountains, and then created a fantastic album consisting of two separate versions of the same basic material. Ilios starts with the tranquillity of the monastery garden, followed by an overpowering rainstorm, the lonely sound of manual work and the ever-present sea (it could also be the wind, or both). Footsteps. A hiss. A hammering. More footsteps. Chirping birds and, finally, a compelling subsonic embrace lifts the whole piece up until it becomes a debilitating skull massage. I imagine I can hear a mourning chant from the sea, but no, it's just another aural illusion. Sizzling distortion is added to this intimidating wall of sound - there's no shelter in sight - and it morphs into jet-propelled sensory deprivation, until all that remains is the numbing drone of a motor. Frequencies beat, slow down, someone coughs, everything stops. López begins with a short segment of looping ghostly harmonics, then immediately puts his assembling skills to work, catching repetition where it's not normally found, juxtaposing birds, insects and environmental forces in alluring traps for our brain to fall into, a peculiar beauty revealing itself to be a hideous yet fascinating being feeding on synthetic oscillations and bad instincts. Peace is restored for a few interminable moments, until another terrifying blast of metallic frequencies comes back to hunt out those who managed to escape the first time. It's the most potent section of the piece, an imposing spatial geometry in constant flux throwing us right back into the strong arms of Nature with a spectacular studio / field recording crossfade. A final murmur; the sea is beckoning me in. If this is "silence", you have no ears. www.paristransatlantic.com (France), 2007