Some crazy stuff is happening in A.F. Jones’ stunning video for Gil Sansón‘s “pensamiento en su ocaso,” as it is all across the tape: time-distorted samples of Sun Ra, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, ELP and more. It’s all a reaction to the larger craziness of an unbalanced world.
So yes ~ take in the images of an animated dog head, arterial blood, steel workers, churchgoers, evil masks, dying flies. And the music ~ unsettling even at the start ~ soft hums and hisses, horns and metallic echoes, bursting in the center like magma, filled with drums and drones, samples crashing into each other like mad crowds. It’s all meant to be saying something. But what? According to Sansón, the music is an expression of anger directed at the western world, specifically the political decision to concentrate on some revolutions and not others, to uphold freedom on paper yet not always in practice. When the sound of burning is heard, it may be that of books, or witches, or civilization itself; at the very least, the listener’s concept of civilization. We don’t need more sweet albums, we have enough of those.
The computerized beeps may signify the messages that fail to get through: the dial-up concepts that never make it through the wire. This is instead the sound of the underground, the sound of familiar music made unfamiliar, of familiar beliefs being disproven. Yet the listener can’t know all this; it’s a factor of intuition (or reading the liner notes). But it’s easy enough to intuit the sound of alienation. Will the thunderstorm wash this all away, make us clean again? It’s just as likely that the rain will expose the corruption underneath.
This is the third tape release from the new experimental label Lengua de Lava, based in Yucatán, México, founded by Gerardo Alejos and Enrique Rejón. It’s not the most confrontational; that title belongs to the upcoming four-way split cassette Wall of Skulls. But it’s a fine example of a label that is willing to take risks, while calling them the new status quo. The label’s name comes from a José Martí prose poem, which in part states, “What I love is the difficult sonorities, the sculptural line: vibrant as porcelain, airborne as a bird, scorching and devastating as a tongue of lava.” While not a commercial venture by any stretch, the label has the potential to make an impact in a market that is starved for innovation. Ironically, on this tape, the innovation comes from the curling of straight forms, in the hope that what is curled may one day be made straight. (Richard Allen)