Ernesto Diaz-Infante

Letter Bomb

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Welcome to the underground, where music crackles and hisses, where words are mumbled rather than spoken, and where collaborations are done without meeting. The master tapes for Letter Bomb traveled by mail between Kansas and California. Ernesto Diaz-Infante put down some of his strangest tracks yet, playing prepared guitar, some violin, percussion, synthesizer, and providing background noises in the form of a tape collage. He also kind of sings, mumbling strings of words in the microphone, but his voice remains intentionally low in the mix. The words are there, but one can barely make them out. Diaz-Infante speaks of spiritual enlightenment, media manipulation, and government cover-ups alongside more abstract and surrealistic passages. What his voice brings to the music is not so much lyrical content as a constant atmosphere of secret. He talks as if he were conspiring against the state (there's also the title of this album, Letter Bomb). To this already dense flooring, Mark Flake provided guitar and programmed drums. This is very difficult music to listen to. It is noisy, lo-fi, highly uneven. The drums are generally annoying -- and the musicians pay no attention to them. Tracks pile up regardless of what lies underneath, amounting to barely controlled chaos. The three short pieces starting the set make an interesting artistic statement, but the 50-minute "Toxins for Coco" is a masochist marathon you don't want to suffer through. Diaz-Infante has been multiplying collaborations in 2001-2002. This one may be the most questionable of them all.

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