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Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Elevator Bath eeaoa030
Release Year: 2009
Note: four subtle work-outs of machinery sounds (clocks, elevators, laboratory & factory equipment), lim. 500
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €17.00

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"Elevator Bath is extremely pleased to present this new double CD set of thematically-linked works from Francisco Lpez, still unquestionably one of the major figures of contemporary experimental music. Machines collects four pieces recorded from 2004-2007, each of which is based upon sounds of machinery (clocks, elevators, and various laboratory and factory equipment) gathered, respectively, in Amsterdam, Leipzig, Barcelona, and Riga. Yes, these compositions are permeated by an 'industrial' sound, but these are very subtle arrangements, even with a wide dynamic scope and with silence playing a lesser role than in much of Lpez' output. There is a strong rhythmic presence in these recordings, heavy with the weight of machinery. Thick sounds held in crisp clarity. Blindfold or no, Machines offers an involving listening experience, drawing the listener deep into the various locales of its sources. And with a running time of more than two and a half hours, this is a substantial and important addition to the world of absolute concrte music by one of the most distinguished and distinctive artists in the field. Packaged inside an elegant printed sleeve with a fold-out insert featuring color photography by the composer. Printed with soy-based ink on 100% recycled paper. This double compact disc set has been issued in an edition of 500 copies." [label info]


"Industrial Music for Industrial People," well that was a
tagline that Monte Cazzazza used to 'brand' Throbbing Gristle's
Industrial Records, who intended the slogan to be an expression of
going beyond the 'agricultural music' which came before. Some 30 years
later, and the meaning of Industrial Music has gone through numerous
permutations, some of which are quite reprehensible. Yet, that
transition from the 'agricultural' into the 'industrial' ethos could
be apt for this body of work from the self-proclaimed purveyor of
'absolute' music, Francisco Lopez. It's all machines, all the time for
this 2cd set of recordings; and he's clearly building upon the
techniques he had used during his seminal recordings of natural sounds
such as La Selva or Wind. Yes, yes, yes, Lopez *has* used mechanical
sounds throughout his body of work, so the Industrial Records metaphor
might not be an exact fit. But it's close enough.
"Klokken" is the first piece on Machines, built out of
recordings collected from large collections of clocks from the
Netherlands. His piece is a bright collage that overlays the precise
motors and machinations found within each of those machines. As these
flywheels spin and gears click, the regularity of these repetitions is
surprisingly uneven, perhaps as a metaphoric explanation as why time
can be a relative construct with the machines pushing time forwards
and backwards ever so slightly. Whether intentional or not, this piece
has a considerable aesthetic similarity to Ligeti's Poeme
Symphonique, composed strictly through metronomes. It ends with
6 minutes of silence, just because that's the way Lopez is.
"Fahstuhle" is more of a typical Lopez construction with the sources
culled from various elevators in Germany, as the elliptical hisses and
tension-based drones from the elevator cables emerge as the
fundamental sound construction that Lopez punctuates with various
resonant clangs and motorized ruptures. The source material to "Labs"
should be somewhat self-evident, with resonant frequencies captured
from large-scale institutional devices of unknown origin and
pressurized aerations. Compositionally, this is again a signature
Lopez piece, focussed upon the gradual acceleration and occultation of
his sounds, with grandiose bursts of sustained energy. "Fabrikas"
finds Lopez indulging in the fineries of chocolate and beer factories,
all the while taking time to make some field recordings. At first, it
seems like a reprise of the mechanical whirlings of the clock piece,
but as he builds the layers with greater density, this piece grows
into a huge mass of rasping buzz and accreted white noise. Excellent!
After so many years at the turn of the millennium of high
caliber records, Lopez has been floundering recently. Machines is a
welcome exception finding Lopez once again at the height of his game." [Aquarius Records review]