Francisco López / Lawrence English – HB

Baskaru

Francisco López and Lawrence English chose a simple procedure for this magnificent record, sending each other field recordings to manipulate in the studio, creating two additional works from the original material. “Untitled #175” is a classic by the Spanish soundscaper, featuring birds (only rarely accompanied by insects), a constant, muffled mumble-and-growl, wind brushing the microphone and what sounds like a perplexed polar bear in front of something unrecognized. It’s masterfully transformed by English into “Pattern Review By Motion”, the overall sonority altered by highlighting the environment’s uneven breathing and heavy heart – except for a sudden thunderous dynamic shift – instead of focusing exclusively on the “lead chirpers” (they do maintain a central role, though, and English even adds some of his own in the final section). The Australian’s “Wire Fence Upon Opening” is a beautiful example of “communicative idiosyncrasy”, utilizing the same familiar elements with enhanced sensitivity: here, the distant rumble of the surroundings is absolutely crucial, becoming the link between our own physical reaction and the mental management of utter solitude. These eight extraordinary minutes of unfathomable existential perception are almost doubled (and thoroughly transformed) by López, whose “Untitled #204” concludes the program by confronting us once more with the threatening face of nature: crusty materializations underlined by distant roars, liquid and metal meshing their quintessence in an atmospheric setting that few could ever experience, quietness ultimately re-establishing its influence like slow death. Yet these vibrations are the basis of life.

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