Francisco López: Untitled #244 (CD, Sub Rosa, March 2010)

This is 55 minutes constructed out of “Original environmental recordings done at multiple underwater and abovewater [sic] locations in the Panamá and Paraguay rivers”. He even made it in his mobile studio on a boat. The effect is a detailed and immersive soundscape. It’s not all whale-song, though: there are spooky cavern-like episodes, all drips and echoes, and even some industrial sections, almost like the hull of a tanker scraping along a rock. There are long passages where all we hear is a distant rushing noise, or even silence (as far as I can hear). Somehow, this adds to the feeling of deliberateness, of every sound being in just the right place — there wasn’t anything that belonged here, so he just left us with the quietness. It’s utterly uncompromising (as I’d anticipated, having been lucky enough to experience one of his astonishing surround-sound live experiences at an All Tomorrow’s Parties) and although it doesn’t exactly command the listener’s attention it is the sound of someone completely in control of their medium.

I bought this at the Kompakt shop (again, yes, get me).

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