Juan Pablo Cáceres

Orquesta

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Experimental composer Juan Pablo Caceres composes dense and aggressive electronic music derived from orchestral and solo instrumental samples. Though he works with state-of-the-art computers to process conventional audio clips into new sonorities and thickly textured fields, his works superficially resemble musique concrète works of the 1950s and early '60s. Caceres has completely absorbed that period's vernacular, and the short gestures, buzzing tones, hypnotic loops, and space-age twittering of early electronic music seem quite thoroughly adapted to his more technically advanced digital-era capabilities. This 2005 Innova release features six of Caceres' complex sound studies, gathered together under the title Orquestra; even so, many passages in these pieces have an obsessive focus on one or two sounds, and suggest the narrower focus of chamber music rather than the broad range and timbral potential of a modern symphony orchestra. Were it not for its extremely loud dynamics and consistently abrasive tone, Caceres' music could be likeable, particularly for its unusual tone colors, imaginative use of digital "space," and always lively rhythmic combinations. In the final track, La Orquestra, the raw honks and comic splats may bring to mind some of Tom Waits' entertaining sonic experiments -- an association that the younger composer might find flattering and worth emulating. Unfortunately, because the rest of Caceres' pieces here are uncompromisingly forceful, uncomfortably edgy, and unrelentingly harsh, this extremely short album is likely to attract only the most hard-boiled fans of avant-garde music and scalding hot electronica. The sound of this disc is clear, concentrated, and penetrating, so watch the volume.

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