Various Artists

Desde el Otro Lado (From the Other Side of the Border)/Electroacoustic Music

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Simply put, this is one of the wildest collections of electro-acoustic music ever assembled. The composers included here are not well-known even to the enthusiasts who listen to this stuff all the time. They break all sorts of barriers, and one has to wonder why the hell in his infinite "wisdom" and marketing savvy, David Byrne hasn't issued a collection like this on Luaka Bop. The set begins with "Electroacoustic Samba X" by E. Reck Miranda, a composer born in 1963. This wondrous thing -- that you can dance to, folks -- is a meditation and study of "Brazilian rhythms and their relation with computer synthesized timbres." In it, Brazilian percussion instruments are sampled and are incorporated into a synthesizer for ordering according to timbre, duration, accent, etc. The ordered system by the composer creates a new kind of dance music. Dig it! "Chica Aruma" by Bolivian-born Nicolas Suarez Eyzaguirre is a series of spoken texts that are put through sound manipulation techniques and a percussion module that reveal the evolution of linguistic development of the Aymara people. And then there is "Todo Es Uno" by Alejandro José of the Dominican Republic. This work derives part of its sounds from energy signals from a pulsing star 175 light years from the Earth, as recorded by the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico, and part from the transference of sound to several amino acids in the human organism registered by some Canadian researcher. Both of these sources were sampled and processed to change their original timbres. Why for God's sake? To prove that everything in the universe is intimately united, and when the timbres of these two sources were altered slightly, they began not only to resemble one another, but also become one another. As music it's a stretch, but as a sonic sculpture it rocks. All of the material on this disc (eight long tracks) is a revelation of one sort or another and proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that tinkering with the sounds of the universe and its machines isn't just done by white guys from Europe anymore.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
2 12:23
8 09:22
blue highlight denotes track pick