Francisco López

Knowing When Not To Know

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For anyone already introduced to the work of Francisco López, there is not much to be surprised about on Knowing When Not to Know, a 3" CD released in Antifrost's "Extreme Sound Souvenirs" series. The only unusual element is the importance of electronic material extraneous to the field recordings at the center of the piece (water in a tub, road traffic, rain on a tin roof). That can be put on the count of Joe Colley (aka Crawl Unit). The single 18-minute piece on this EP began as a López original and was completed with Colley on a trip to San Francisco. It begins with complete silence (until about 2:14). A faint electronic buzz amplifies, joined by an unusually large number of sound sources. The mass augments, menacing to reach a critical point, but instead new hues emerge, almost like tones rising out of the sonic miasma. Then we enter a decrescendo phase. At 13 minutes, nothing is left, but if you keep listening in excellent conditions (like headphones with the volume turned way up), you will notice faint music reappearing a little past the 15-minute mark, like three or four tunes of different styles mixed together in a barely noticeable cacophony. Maybe that's what you should choose to not know (because it hardly makes sense otherwise).