P. Miles Bryson

Alejandro's Carniceria

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Have you ever dreamed of owning an album that comes packaged like a pack of Mexican spices (including a few chili peppers inserted in the plastic wrap)? Then is Alejandro's Carniceria for you! Jokes aside, there is more to this CD than novelty appeal. Growing up in Arizona, P. Miles Bryson could feel the constant influence of Mexican culture permeating from the nearby border. Alejandro's Carniceria is his tribute, of sorts, to this culture as it is understood by Americans and to filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, best known for The Mole (El Topo). Following the typical esthetic of the label Illegal Art (Christopher Penrose, Realistic), Bryson has shamelessly plundered the films of Jodorowsky in search of environmental recordings (in Guymas, Mexico), and snippets of dialogues and music. The sound collage he created takes the listener on a road trip through a land that owes as much to Mexicana than to Americana. For a few moments, the mariachis, flutes, children, and villagers' cheers can lure you into believing this is an "authentic" experience (in quotation marks to avoid debating the nature of authenticity in exoticism), but the electronic treatments, the occasional backbeat imposing itself, the artistic contrasts, savant juxtapositions, and overall cut-and-paste feel of the work are just too modern for the impression to last (in "Rollin' with the Hollywood Psychos," one has the impression of having fallen into an unreleased Mr. Bungle piece). While Alejandra & Aeron in their album Haunted Folklore interpreted the sounds of an old-style Spanish village through field recordings and electronics, Bryson interprets the filmmaker's interpretation. This additional cultural layer renders things more blurry and full of double entendres.

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