SONIDOS DEL SUBCONSCIENTE (I)
"Nace un sonido de la condición de la palabra, otro nombre para el silencio, la nada sobre la que todo descansa.
Es un sonido libre de la inercia de las formas, que se desliza entre las figuras incipientes deshaciendo los contornos.
Es un sonido que llena el espacio, recorre lugares imprevisibles, visita paisajes extraños.
Es un sonido sin imagen, apenas una marea, una corriente submarina que se consolida, asevera el ritmo y nos libera.
Nos lleva a un lugar donde nosotros somos los sonidos que escuchamos, antes del desdoblamiento, del corte y la distancia.
Ahora somos la corriente subterránea que recorre lugares insólitos donde los sonidos transmutados abren la crisálida.
Ahora podemos volver a oir lo que dejamos atrás hace tanto tiempo.
Ahora podemos volver a sentir lo que esconde el silencio, lo incomprensible, lo inalcanzable, lo que nos lanza hacia adelante.
Es la marea que somos, ese devenir eterno, indeterminado. Es el suelo sobre el que descansan nuestros sueños. Es el ojo que mira, es lo que somos sin apenas saberlo". Sebastián Porrúa
Hiding behind the moniker Asférico, there is Alex Gámez, multifaceted artist: musician, dj, producer and director of Störung in Barcelona, an electronic music festival, which is one of the most eclectic of these days. In his past he had experimented with minimal techno, house, ambient music and he took part in several remix and other projects. Now Gámez joined Galaverna and his contribution to the label is a 25 minutes suite. This track is an admirable mixture of field recordings, taken around the world in 2007, and synthetic sounds. The effect created is a wonderful and controller mix of centrifugal forces transporting the listener into various musical landscapes. Sebastián Porrúat contributed to this project with a lyrical text, which is attached to the track.
This work is dedicated to Gámez’s friend Juan Diego B, who passed away recently, “Sonidos del Subcosciente” is an intense journey intent to discover the drifts in the soul of sound, an immaginary soundtrack “of a timeless world, a deep, dark, cofused and loud world, populated with milions of files, unknown connections and simultaneous processes”, as the author himself spoke about his piece.
This track is a meaningful proof of prowess in which different atmospheres, suggestions and influences merge into each other. “Sonidos del Subcosciente” is a work hanging between sulphurous landscapes and auditory glimpses and it won’t passed unnoticed by the pubblic of experimental digital music enthusiastics, considering the parallelism with artists like Ben Frost and Richard Skelton, and its references to 12K and LINE sounds.
Notes from the artist Asférico presents the first part of “Sonidos del Subconsciente” (Sounds of the Subconscious). A series of pieces based on the combination of massive manipulations of field recordings, captured around the world since 2007, and analog synthesizer sounds designed specifically for this project.
“Sonidos del Subconsciente” is an imaginary soundtrack of a timeless, deep, dark, blurred and noisy world with millions of files and unknown connections and processes constantly running.
In memory of my friend and mate Juan Diego B. (1974-2012).
Special thanks to Galaverna team, Alessia M., Aurelio M., Mischa V., Montse R. and all Störung team & fans.
Mastering by Alex Gámez.
Photo by Svyatoslav Vagradyan.
Sonidos del Subconsciente (I) by Alex Gàmez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.galaverna.org.
An older work by label-boss Alex Gamez was also received, called ‘sounds of the subconscious’ in Spanish, which is a ‘combination of massive manipulations of field recordings, captured around the world since 2007, and analogue synthesizer sounds’. In some ways it may seem that Asferico is a fine student of the work of Lopez, using a similar approach to ‘loud’ versus ‘quiet’ but it sounds all a bit less refined and sometimes the built up is a bit ‘easy’ – but on other occasions this is actually nice, with a dark unearthly rumble and at one point a very silence part of almost four minutes, which is the true old Lopez style. I am not sure why this wasn’t properly promoted when it came out in 2012, since it’s definitely a work of interest. If you dig Lopez (Meelkop, Behrens etc.) than this is certainly must hear work. Go check out this piece of forgotten history. [FdW]
The accompanying notes for ‘Sonidos del Subconsciente I’ describe the work as “an imaginary soundtrack of a timeless, deep, dark, blurred and noisy world with millions of files and unknown connections and processes constantly running.” It certainly feels as if you’re leaving our world behind and embarking on a journey through an unfamiliar landscape caught somewhere between the prehistoric and post apocalyptic. This 24 minute composition by Alex Gámez was created from a variety of field recordings that have been manipulated to such a degree that the original source of the sound is now unidentifiable. Insects, rushing water, wind, machinery and even birdsong are all possibilities but one can never really be sure. Synthesized sounds were also incorporated into the work to emphasize the otherworldly nature of the piece. This lack of familiarity with the sonic content coerces the listener into using their imagination to tackle this distorted, unfathomable creation. Galaverna, run by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano, is the label behind this release. Never being ones to shy away from the unconventional has meant that a robust catalogue of releases is starting to take shape within just a year of the label being formed. With the likes of Yasuhiro Morinaga (Sceneries from the Castellated Wall) and Andreas Bick (Eolo) adding their support, Galaverna looks set to go from strength to strength. ‘Sonidos del Subconsciente I’ made me stop and think about how my views on field recording have changed over time. There is no denying that my relationship with listening and field recordings is certainly evolving. There was a time when my interest in this type of work would have waned after a few minutes, when the frustration of not knowing what I was listening to eventually took over. Now I have the patience and curiosity to give the more experimental areas of phonography the attention they deserve. This is not a conscious effort either. I think it comes, in part at least, from being exposed to such a wealth of high-quality published material that traverses the entire spectrum of field recording, whether it be the sounds of the rainforest, the musical rhythm of an escalator or the hum of a vibrating wire. I think it also comes from a deeper interest in the world of sound that has developed within me over the past few years and much greater contact with recordists and artists who want to explore unconventional paths and push the barriers of field recording to see what can be achieved. It’s been a fascinating journey so far. [Cheryl Tipp]
As there’s the Roman number for “first” after the title of the release, I could surmise this is the first of a series of sonic experiments by Asferico, new project by Barcelona-based dj, producer, founder of Storung electronic music festival and head of the Storung sub-label FlatMate Music Alex Gamez, who assembles a catchy mental odyssey/adventure and 25-minutes lasting listening experience by means of a guessed combination of modified field recordings and analog synthesizer sounds. The adventure starts with tempestous noise of a sort of sea storm, which he gradually disfigures by dint of sequences of puffs and blows as if he’s turning it into a new appearance. The following steps of this sonic journey, which could give you the lively impression of being inside a cave surrounded by the noises of dripping rocks, colliding with ginormous metallic entrapping webs, awakening within a peaceful wood and so on, could let you think that according to a possible conceptual explanation of this release, the Spanish sound artist is trying to ding the sphere and the diaphragm between form and fuction, fact and fiction, perception and nature, whose sharp detachment seems to belong to many philosophical, religious, cultural and even architectural principles, which look like fostering this separation. I wonder how the follow-up of this first act of “Sonidos del Subcosciente”, which comes on Italian net-label Galaverna by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano, could sound. [Vito Camarretta]
Uscita ostica questa nuova approntata dallo spagnolo Alex Gámez col moniker Asférico (ricordiamo che l’uomo è il boss del festival di musica elettronica Störung). Sonidos Del Subconsciente (I), già dall’intestazione esplicita si pone come problematico oggetto interpretativo della psiche o per lo meno ci prova, secondo noi riuscendoci. In pratica si tratta di un’unica maestosa traccia (è la prima di una serie di uscite) della durata di quasi venticinque minuti, che richiede concentrazione e giusto mood per venire apprezzata fino in fondo. Sin dall’inizio i rumori sordi provenienti da chissà dove s’intrecciano a delle più che probabili onde del mare che, amplificate a dovere, danno potenza al lavoro. Immaginatevi di essere come il piccolo uomo protagonista del celebre dipinto di Caspar David Friedrich (“Monaco in riva al mare”): ecco che vi si prospetteranno scenari tumultuosi e fantasie mostruose nella mente. Troverete poi un attimo di pace ─ ma è più stordimento a dire la verità ─ nella parte centrale del pezzo, tutto un fluttuare acquatico tra microscopici esseri che somigliano a schegge glitch e lunghe nuotate negli abissi. Lo scontro con la carcassa di una nave abbandonata è quello che ci attende verso il sedicesimo minuto, e qui chiaramente si avvertono miasmi industrial. Parte finale per un breve e quasi interlocutorio intermezzo noise che non comprendiamo fino in fondo, ma che siamo certi serva al musicista – e a noi – per resettare le sinapsi da cotanto viaggio sensoriale. Pubblica il tutto la neonata netlabel Galaverna, nel suo roster, tra gli altri, anche Gianluca Favaron. [Maurizio Inchingoli]
A new release on Galaverna, led by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano, a multimedia platform of art and sounds that is inserted into the field of electroacoustic and experimental. Asférico is the alias of Alex Gámez, a Spanish sound artist designer who is active since 2005. ‘Sonidos del Subconsciente (I)’ (‘Sounds of Subconscious (I)’) is the first part of a work that contains a series of pieces based on the manipulation of field recordings collected around the world since 2007, through a synthesizer sounds designed especially for this project. The sea sound flows in constant movement that approaches and retreats. Gámez stripped-down the sound producing layers of abrasive textures. Then a mechanical and repetitive game emerges with some force to pass over in silence. [Guillermo Escudero]
L’ultima pubblicazione della netlabel Galaverna, curata da Leandro Pisano ed Enrico Coniglio, è una suite di venticinque minuti realizzata sotto l’alias Asférico dall’artista, dj e produttore spagnolo Alex Gámez. “Sonidos del Subconsciente (I)” è la prima parte di un più ampio progetto di composizioni incentrate su field recordings e manipolazioni sintetiche e il suo contenuto, dedicato alla memoria di un amico scomparso, altro non è che la fedele trasposizione sonora del suo titolo. La pièce si apre con statiche modulazioni di vento sintetico e, dopo aver corteggiato il silenzio, trova movimento attraverso una serie di sferzanti rumori d’ambiente per culminare in ondulazioni di scarno ipnotismo trance. [Rafaello Russo]
Asférico handles the violence of the natural world. Field recordings are manipulated on here. The physicality of the pieces is rather incredible. With heavy manipulation the result is the sort of thing that defies categorization. A noise-like approach to the sound is necessary. No melodies, no specific rhythm, just the pure unfiltered view of a natural environment complete with all the brutality that entails. Devoid of any cute sounds (no birds chirping, people talking, animals) it is a pure natural elements release. Wind, water, natural events, little in the way of anything that would suggest a living creature it captures more the sound of weather’s aggression than any charming animal sound. Very quickly the drone noise begins. The beginning suggests that of moving water. Mist can be felt more than even heard. Focus on the physical surroundings makes it that much more impressive. Sure this is somewhat manipulated. Asférico ensures that the manipulation is kept somewhat indistinct from the natural phenomenon. By the 10 minute mark pieces of silence begin to weave their way into the piece. Rather than destroy the natural flow of the piece the pause heightens the sense of tension. When the sound returns it is far more cavernous. Reminiscent of Asmus Tietchens indeterminate work it trickles down slowly. Eventually an industrial mechanical feels takes over from the natural dripping. By the end the natural is defeated. All that exists is the digital. Here it feels like Asférico has two competing forces in the work: one dedicated to preserving the natural world the other dedicated to destroying it.
Barcelonan Alex Gámez is perhaps best known in this community as the founder of Störung, a label focusing on audiovisual studies. In other circles, he is better known as a tech-house DJ. We find him in yet another guise on this release, under the alias Asférico, working with field recordings and analogue synthesis. Those other facets of his oeuvre come into play early in the ~25 minute piece. The credits refer to analogue synthesis designed specifically for the release, and the listener is hard-pressed to determine whether the gorgeous curtains of soft pink noise that pan, cycle and fade for the first section are organic or synthetic in origin. Their lilting rhythms and diverse attacks and decays of signal subtly allude to Gámez’s history with electronica. Aesthetic and structural explorations of dance music through a deconstructivist lens seem to be in vogue this year. Indeed, parts of Sonidos Del Subconsciente (I) are a inverted analogue of Lee Gamble’s Diversions 1994-1996. While the latter created liminal spaces out of sampled segues and synth pads from drum’n’bass tracks, the former uses the structural and relational elements of techno and glitch to delineate source material that is rarely used for such purposes. The result certainly isn’t danceable, but beat and meter are never far removed from the listener’s attention. Midway through the piece we are thrown rather suddenly into a troglodytic setting, with fine details of a sewer or HVAC system atop hazy hall-scapes. This particular recording feels a bit mundane, but seeps into attention-grabbing mechanical loops just when one is tempted to skip ahead. The hints of harmonic tones amid the clanging remind me a bit of a merry-go-round. The album continues its departure from manipulated fields into more a synthetic environment, and after a stretch of pseudo-silence to prime the ears, finishes with aggressive looping pulses both syncopated and rhythmic. The focus on idiosyncratic aspects of otherwise mundane sounds leads to some interesting territory. On my first listen it seemed there was not much in the way of cohesion, though the stark contrast between sections probably indicates this was not intended: at least in an aesthetically superficial way. That said, the degree to which the fields are deconstructed and re-purposed only increases across the piece, building a narrative arc that leads from the soft appeasement of the opening windy chords, to the spiky unease of the last syncopated pulses. While it ends on a somewhat unfinished note, it is (as the title suggests) the first in a series. Fine work that stands on its own, and leaves me looking forward to Asférico’s next release. Available as a free download from Galaverna, and at Bandcamp.