[ reviews ]

live in auckland50. live in auckland [ rec. 2007 ]

> rel. 2008 - CD Monotype, Poland (website)
Francisco López - "Live in Auckland" (CD Monotype, Poland 2008)
"Live in Auckland" was recorded at the School of Creative and Performing Arts of that city in 2004. Our favourite entomologist takes us by surprise at the beginning of the concert, almost instantly projecting the listeners in a thrumming, hissy, essentially industrial environment full of clanging and thudding eruptions. ¬†Quite a difference from the interminable gripping quietness which the Spanish usually subjects us to. About ten minutes into the performance everything stops abruptly to leave room to distant echoes of winds and insects - we're back to classic López, my headphones accusing distortion from the inexorable whams that define this section. The intensity of the buzz increases, a sense of pre-explosion placing its hands on our throats, yet nothing happens. A series of irregular clatters is submerged by rapidly advancing drones that end suddenly in favour of stranger manifestations, something like bionic woodpeckers attacking long-suffering trees. Another pattern appears, followed by superimposed clock ticks in a truly surreal moment, whose hypnotic magic defines one of the best sections of the whole disc. The impressive mass of scarcely recognizable sounds shifting the track's weight to the drone zone is also strategically placed, and extremely engrossing; yet there's always something rumbling or mumbling somewhere, either underground or on the soundscape's surface. The piece proceeds according to these systems and rules until the abrupt conclusion, a great aural experience without second thoughts. What's to be learnt from this lesson is that one may try and recur to silence to be considered a serious composer these days, but it's the method through which silence is evoked - even with sound and noise - that makes that artist special. Francisco López has been working on this for years now, the fruits of his research never resulting in unsatisfying music. You just got to be open to the inevitable surrounding din of human activities which, channelled in the right way, might near poetry sometimes. http://www.touchingextremes.com/ (July 2008)