Fascinating compositions weaving field recordings from Frankbonner's Washington Heights, NYC, apartment window.
Label: Azul Discografica
Released in: USA
"It's an approach as obvious as it is underutilized: record and process sounds in one's immediate environment, weaving a fabric from known, everyday sources into something no one's ever heard. Loy Fankbonner, co-founder of the new label azul discografica (the cover aesthetic of which reminds me a lot of the original BYG Actuel series), does just that on its first release, el pabellon.
Recorded over a period of three months from March to May, 2006, using only the sounds that crept through his Washington Heights (upper Manhattan) window as raw material, Fankbonner (credited with microphony, samples, processing and mix) crafts eight solid slabs of sound that are both varied and, by and large, successful. In the first track, "atardecer", a recognizable general urban rumble gradually gets admixed with sharper, more piercing tones before evanescing into a delicate blend of hiss and watery drops, small bells and mutated car horns alongside, before a threatening crescendo at the very end. It's a gorgeously evocative work, one of the strongest here, summoning mental images halfway between gritty reality and dreams. Other pieces, like the ensuing "jornada", are more chunky and discontinuous. Taking Fankbonner at his word about the sole sound source, some of the harmonica-like tones are mysterious as to their origin. I hear a little bit of Braxton in those notes; I can almost imagine him playing clarinet with, in this case, clanking metal behind him. There are several shorter vignettes scattered through the discs, snapshots of moments enhanced or not so much by Fankbonner, each quietly effective.
On "vecindario", he injects a series of off-kilter beats, sampled from who-knows-where, that throw a wrench into the flow, obstructing the "natural" sounds of the city until one learns to accommodate them, something more easily done when various loud throbs and sirens emerge, placing the beats into a wider context, though I still found the track disquieting. The longish "noche de primavera" extends this sense of unease through a range of eerie, high-pitched whines and remote "choral" moans while the title track closes out the disc by returning to that dark, lovely rumble heard on "atardecer", not noticeably messed with, fading out as though the window is being slowly closed.
el pabellon is a solid first effort, well worth checking out."->Brian Olewnick, Bagatellen
At The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
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Label: Azul Discografica
Catalog ID: asd01
Squidco Product Code: 8913
Fankbonner-microphony, samples, processing and mix
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1. atardecer 5:50
2. jornada 11:51
3. quieto 1:21
4. 1-a 2:24
5. vecindario 8:45
6. azul :53
7. noche de primavera 10:56
8. el pabellón 3:30