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Luciernaga/John Lindaman

cover image Both Joao Da Silva (Luciernaga) and John Lindaman utilize primarily a guitar to create expansive, occasionally difficult passages of abstract sound and noise, so pairing them together on this tape makes perfect sense. What becomes more striking by doing this, however, are their differences. With Luciernaga delivering a single live piece that is about an expansive sense of ambience, and a more free improv suite from Lindaman, both sides excel because of their differences, presenting two very different sides of a tried and true style.

Oxtail Recordings

Da Silva’s half, "Hesitation Blues Revisited," is a performance recorded live in late 2016.The bit of opening pre-performance chatter makes the context in which it was recorded clear, as he begins to weave together simple guitar strums and ebow-like sustained drones together, making for a nice pattern of swells and open spaces.With a more gentle, ambient loop in the background, Da Silva adds in the occasionally harsher outburst or more distorted sound to the mix.As he continues though, he keeps that balance between peaceful space and harsher outbursts exceptionally well executed.

Some more specific sounds do appear, such as the taut string plucks near the bridge of his guitar, and the occasionally chirping bird like effect.Eventually he coaxes out everything from trilling horror film score notes to bent whale song like slides, all the while layering loops atop one another.The performance eventually builds to a droning wall of sound, and after a bit of taped voice, becomes a wonderful dull roar that suddenly ends and concludes the captivating performance.

Lindman’s half the tape is a studio session, split into four distinct songs instead of the lengthy half-hour performance by Luciernaga.The opening moments of "Civil Twilight" are rather conventional at first:clean, distinct guitar sounds and tone.The tone is affected soon by unconventional uses of delay and echo that pull the piece in an entirely different direction.Eventually he builds into layers of feedback and distortion, making for a piece that just straddles the line between music and noise, before drifting away peacefully."Crimson Sphere" follows a similar structure, with Lindaman beginning with traditional sounding guitar before slowly pulling it down into darker, more disturbing worlds.

"Eternal Black Hatred" is a more uncomfortable work.The clipped notes make for an unsettling sound right from the start, but with frequent use of reverb and distortion, it quickly becomes bleaker.Lindaman’s side ends on an especially strong note with "Noise of Palace."Starting from a simple clean note progression, some more low frequency elements are brought in, then the guitar is expanded into more of a shimmering wall of sound.Once all the pieces are in place it becomes a rather pleasant bit of droning effects.

The paring of these two artists is an excellent one, because the differences between the two are stark.Luciernaga's lengthy, public workout of slowly built sounds is nicely balanced by John Lindaman's shorter, more immediate pieces with a bedroom recording-like intimacy.As a combined release it provides excellent examples of just how different two artists doing "experimental ambient guitar" can be from one another, yet both doing exceptionally strong works.