I get a fair amount of requests via email for reviews, interviews, etc., by artists, labels, and third party publicists and promoters, some within the parameter of Chain D.L.K. genres, and some not, some for digital only releases, and others where there is a physical product (but the party is either too lazy, cheap, or reluctant for some reason) to send me a physical copy. Most of these requests get ignored, especially the ones where there is a physical copy of the work but isn't sent to me. (As long as a physical copy is sent to me, I will review it...eventually, provided it falls within Chain D.L.K.'s genre parameters.) There are exceptions to this for certain works I find interesting, and feel that it deserves exposure that it might not have had otherwise, and such is the case with this one.
'untitled #346' is a sound work by Francisco López and a text by Salomé Voegelin, with an introduction by Leandro Pisano. Both work and text ask: “How sound can push us towards the limits of what we consider as listening? How sound art pushes us to investigate the threshold that separates the audible from the imagined, constructing sound worlds in which memory gathers in the imperceptible of matter?” This work was commissioned by the Fundación Juan March for the exhibition ‘Escuchar con los ojos. Arte sonoro en España, 1961-2016’.
(‘Listening with the Eyes. Sound Art in Spain, 1961-2016’), curated by José Iges and José Luis Maire (Madrid, Spain, October 2016–January 2017). The original environmental sound matter was recorded at the Fundación Juan March building (Madrid) in 2016. Mutated, edited, composed, mixed and mastered at Dune Studio (Loosduinen), Summer 2016.
'Untitled #346' is one long track running 43:20 in length, a soundscape comprised primarily of industrial sounds and loops, and perhaps some electronics. To those Chain D.L.K. readers who enjoy industrial and noise soundscapes, this should be familiar and welcome territory. Where there is sound (and there are spaces/places in this work where sound is definitely absent, such as the dead silence 25:37 for a couple of minutes until a very low sub-harmonic tone is barely discernible) there is more often than not repetition in the looping of sound segments. This gives the impression of mechanical activity, or life in the hum-drum.
There are actually several phases in 'untitled #346.' The first phase begins with some kind of light mechanical repetition, the impression of the operation of a small precision machine. The next phase is very light, low noise, indicative of a furnace pilot light; I definitely get the impression of flame -heated air. The next phase has some twisty squeaky foley sounds, perhaps hand manipulation of some plastic elements. This morphs into a steady drone with a timed repetitive small chain striking element. The next phase (overlapping the previous) is definitely repetitive-mechanical, until it is squelched by a huge ship horn, which is joined by a secondary one of a different tone. Overlapping this, a metallic mechanical loop (which could be a digging machine, or something to do with construction) repeats for a long time. Other mechanical elements are added along the way. The next phase is the (aforementioned) silence leading into the sub-harmonic tone. Following that lengthy quiet interlude, the next phase that emerges sounds like a subway, or at least subterranean in its distant reverberation. This phase ceases at 32:44 and the next begins with what sounds like rain on a tin roof, maybe even pouring down a drainpipe. The rain sound morphs into a sort of semi-rhythmic slapping, lightly at first but becoming more forceful until the rain sound becomes crushingly torrential. After that, there is a series of mechanical sounds to conclusion.
This is a most interesting work, but I feel as though I've only been able to partially explore it without Salomé Voegelin's text. Anyone can draw their own conclusions as to what it might mean, and truth be told, not everyone always reads the "liner notes" to every sound recording they hear and/or purchase. The premise and execution are laudable, but I feel as though it still needs some deeper elucidation, which I find myself at a loss to provide. Fans of Nurse With Wound, Dead Voices On Air, Einstürzende Neubauten, and similar artists should find this work appealing.