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Black Sun Productions, "Chemism"

Chemism is the "mutual attraction, interpenetration, and neutralisation of independent individuals which unite to form a whole". Strangely though, the collaborations here tend not to come across as collegial, not through any enforcement or dictates by the duo, but through the strength of the chemistry between this collective's core. Black Sun Productions may have gathered a cast of like-minded souls to shape this album, but this still feels like the work is led by the distinctly European vision of the single mind of Massimo and Pierce. In this way, it seems like an ideal description of their working process.

 

Old Europa Cafe

Moving away from the sombre marathon of their grand The Impossibility of Silence double release, this is an emotionally stricter, more rhythm-led release. The exacting looped beats that most of the tracks here are built up around are aimed more at creating atmospheres than anything to do with tempo or the dancefloor. Through the textures and unsupportive structures of the percussion sounds these appear as integral layers rather than a mere programmed skeletons. Removed from their clanking heavier roots they can either sunk to complex scratchy sputterings ("The Repossession of Innocence Lost"), the bars of hell's gate rattling. This isn't a grand techno epic filling every inch with sound, there is an immense amount of space left on Chemism. These gaps, the cold melodies and the air of ridged melancholy give the album a chilly air that refuses to leave. Even their abstraction feels like its being viewed by carnal eyes through black curtains, the clatter of tin rain on plastic roofs feeling voyeuristic. There’s room for the slightly less serious too, Black Sun Productions never confusing dark music with miserabilism, the simple descending notes taking a brief segway into an huffing orchestral oompah groove.

Their world on Chemism seems to be slowly becoming ruled by a more obviously electronic heart, but a heart nonetheless. The occasional richness of Massimo's vocals only serves to sink the album further into spiritual impiety. His entreaties sink like inverted plainsong, coaxing ravens frm gibbets and young men to their doom. Even the beatific coated vocals soar, as on the closing "Veneration X," they still sound like falling angels clutching fatal wounds. Their previously released paean to William Burroughs, "Uncle Billy," sounds even better in this company than on 7" vinyl, the violin making its mark in the mix. The Coil-like vibraphone melody of "Dies Juvenalis" is the only easily observable link back to their musical roots, the rest of the LP sounding free of heavy or direct influence.

samples:

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

YouTube Video


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Francisco López, "1980-82"

cover imageFrancisco López came onto my radar beginning during his most prolific period, largely the mid-1990s to the present day.  Even though his career began earlier, his 1980s period is often forgotten due to these earliest works published in extremely small numbers that have faded into obscurity.  This new compilation, however, presents previously unreleased material from his earliest cassette recordings.  Within the context of his expansive body of work, what is most striking is how established his aesthetic and style was, even at such a young age.


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