Recorded during the same 2002 event that has yielded the Francisco López-curated compilation album Blank Field (also on Alien8 Recordings), Live in Montréal features the drone master at his best -- which may not be his most original. By then, the recipe of a López performance was well established: audience members sit blindfolded (the jewel case contains a blindfold to repeat the experience at home) while the artist unfolds his aural landscapes. Extremely quiet at first, the drone slowly gains in presence, materializing between your ears, evoking empty industrial structures and gigantic fields rippling with insect life. Sounds intermingle and escalate, only to recede, escalate again, recede again, and escalate one final time, reaching an unbearable volume (yet remaining oh so detailed!) before being cut short, going from who knows how many decibels to zero in a nanosecond, leaving the listener dizzy for a moment, as if in free fall (people have actually fallen off their chairs at live López performances, so strong is the physical impression of having someone rob them of their support). López's followers will see a very predictable course of action in the previous description. Yes, the man has done this a lot of times. On Live in Montréal, he does it very well. The album has two points recommending it: its duration (just over half an hour) makes the experience seem less threatening to casual listeners, and the fact that it has been released by Alien8 means that it will remain in print for a while and will be relatively easy to find in North America.
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