::: INTRODUCTORY WORDS :::
La musique souvent me prend comme une mer!
Vers ma pâle étoile,
Sous un plafond de brume ou dans un vaste éther,
Je mets à la voile;
La poitrine en avant et les poumons gonflés
Comme de la toile
J’escalade le dos des flots amoncelés
Que la nuit me voile;
Je sens vibrer en moi toutes les passions
D’un vaisseau qui souffre;
Le bon vent, la tempête et ses convulsions
Sur l’immense gouffre
Me bercent. D’autres fois, calme plat, grand miroir
De mon désespoir!
– Charles Baudelaire
::: PRESS RELEASE :::
Madrid (and Cologne) based Miguel Angel Tolosa has a solid musical background both in electroacoustic & contemporary composition, and he’s also quite versed into sound engineering and producing techniques.
Most of all, he’s the long operating figurehead behind the highly respectable Con-V label.
His area of expertise is drones & field recordings tinted, and he has published works on many labels such as among others : Winds Measure Recordings, Non Visual Objects, Twenty Hertz, Drone Records…
As a dedicated listener/explorer, his music displays a large textural palette, and is infused with that underlying beauty all around us…
This album has been saved from loss and was initially to be released on Asher Tuil’s now defunct & missed Sourdine label.
“haereo” speaks forlorn rainy tales
or exhales morning urban springs…
a sea of untranquility
where small streams abound,
like so many darker veins and obscure skin maps…
Faint echoes exude from exhausted machinery,
a mass of dying waves,
a trail of stars pointing to nowhere, closed doors, and nocturnal flames in the distance,
dead intrepid plants swaying in the wind…
“haereo” is a flux of broken memories,
something reached out for, brushed,
something singularly mighty,
which takes us beyond, deep at heart…
::: TRACKS :::
3. Sanatorium Rose
::: DURATION :::
::: FORMAT :::
CD ltd to 200 copies
all copies come with an additional art card on 300 gr satin paper
::: REVIEWS :::
Ubeboet (Miguel A. Tolosa), though he also uses field recordings as a primary source, strikes me as occupying a slightly different zone, one that is perceived as more “musical” in the sense that many of the sounds he chooses to use have implicitly tonal elements, buried though they may be. The deep hums, for instance, that line the seams of “Umbrae” could be thought of as bass pedal points from a massive organ. The worlds he creates often seem to owe as much to the Fennesz tradition as purely field recordings. The result is a full, very rounded sound world, the edges sanded off a bit too much for my taste, negating the rawness of Sakellariou’s disc (not that Ubeboet had the same goals in mind, of course, just that I prefer one more than another). That said, the work flows smoothly, ripples across its surface attractively and, like both of the preceding, is beautifully recorded and solidly constructed, perhaps with a bit more of a latent science fiction undertone, the muffled clangs summoning images of moribund machines, far into the future.
On the one hand, fans have come to expect the Mystery Sea label to delve into ocean-based electronics and field recordings on every release. On the other, the label has come to offer sound as a sea of mystery, which has never been more apparent than on its latest release. Ubeboet does use watery sounds, both natural and synthesized, but the defining aspect of haereo (to adhere, cleave, hold fast) is its sense of immersion.
The cries of nearby birds and tolling of distant bells in “Eaden” offers a reflection of its subject, but when the soundscape is invaded by traffic, sirens, and a series of subterranean rumbles, one remembers the incursion of sin (which one might argue was already present) and Adam and Eve’s subsequent eviction from the Garden. In terms of this piece, the artist (Miguel Angel Tolosa) is ironically named. An angel will guard the Garden, but alone: protecting one aspect of creation from another. It’s easy to draw comparisons to the aural work, in that Tolosa lowers the volume of the intruding elements, allowing them to be integrated into the soundscape. Nature and industry are intertwined like salvation and sin.
Dark and light continue to advance as the album progresses. Ingar Zach’s singing bowls cast an inner light on “Umbrae” (the darkest part of a shadow), gracing the piece with a spiritual sheen; but by the end of “Sanatorium Rose”, such shards of illumination are drenched in dark drones. These opposing forces are locked in battle, yin and yang, yet are unable to disengage; they cling, they penetrate, they invade. As the sound of birds is replaced by that of skittering, unidentifiable objects, one remembers that we still live in the age of eviction, subject to dark forces. Ubeboet’s bold initiative is to shroud the sounds of the benign with those of the malignant, implying an eclipse of goodness; but every eclipse eventually passes, and the Garden, as distant as it may seem, is still as close to each human as a final breath.
A Closer Listen
Miguel Angel Tolosa works as Ubeboet since quite some time and has as such a number of releases, although the word ‘overproduction’ certainly doesn’t apply to him. The cover says he worked on this from 2008 until 2012 and that he takes credit for electronics and field recordings; the latter being taped in Prague, Madrid, Lozoya valley area (Spain), Aguilar de Campoo area (Spain) and Serra San Bruno (Italy), while Ingar Zach plays bowed singing bowls on one piece. What’s interesting to note is that in the first piece, ‘Eaden’, there are indeed quite some field recordings, but all of birds and insects, rather than what we are used to with this label, which is all things aquatic. In ‘Umbrae’ the microphone is thrown into the deep end and picks up signal below sea-level, along with Zach’s bowed singing bowls. Below and above sea-level is where we find ‘Sanatorium Rose’, the final and longest piece on this release (which is about thirty-six minutes in total length), but there is also the motor-hum from a boat passing as drone music. In all three pieces we find Ubeboet‘s strong love of all things very dark. Much of the way he processes his sounds is to melt these field recordings by computer means and maybe all things analogue (either, or) and filter out much of the mid-high end until the darker rumble remains. In that way, Ubeboet surely has a strong own voice compared to his peers, which is a great thing and he shows it best in a release like this.
Frans de Waard