Francisco López

Azoic Zone

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Francisco López has been active since the early '80s, participating in an international cassette network of musicians and sound artists exchanging and transforming each other's material. One of his first CD releases was this mail collaboration within the cassette network, which includes sound material by several other artists, including feedback artist David Myers (who released several CDs as Arcane Device), the Chicago-based noise group Illusion of Safety, and New Mexico soundscape artist Steve Peters. López' trademark, the all-encompassing drones, are present at every turn, but his sonic suppliers make their presence felt. "Calatheanthemum," for instance, contains rattling chains, metallic percussion, and loud pounding rhythms, almost like a train; and "Vibrational Trip" features gongs and loud screeching feedback events. These sounds are outside López' typical vocabulary, but since López made the final mix, as well as supplied some original material himself, the product is recognizably his. Unsurprisingly, it is very difficult to identify any specific sounds that originated elsewhere. Overall the release has a fairly broad palette, with some tracks like "Anoxic Basins" being fairly quiet throughout, and others, most notably "Vibrational Trip," ranging from near silence to very loud. The titles refer to various organisms in the deepest abysses of the oceans, an appropriate title considering López' other career as a biologist, and an apt image for the mostly austere music on this release. Except for the Staalplaat single "Untitled (1981-1983)," this is the earliest López work to be released on CD. It is also one of the rare recorded examples of his collaborative efforts until the recent debut of his own label, .Absolute.

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