Lawrence English/Francisco Lopez – HB – CD- Baskaru

Unless you have been living in the wilds of Borneo, or perhaps some far distant planet, most of you will be familiar with both Lawrence English ( solo artist and Room 4o mastermind), and Francisco Lopez. This fascinating pairing unites two distinctly different, although mutually complimentary sonic talents in one recording, each artist having submitted their own field recordings for the other to work upon. Both of the guys here are no strangers to collaboration, both having worked with some of the most prominent names on the experimental/underground circuit for many years now, so it becomes a part of their language to transmit and transform the sonic DNA of another.

The mysteriously titled “HB”, is almost wilfully drenched in enigma and abstraction, with no explanation or unifying theme, other than what basically amounts to a file exchange, so the auditor is left immersed in a sea of oblique, leftfield experimentation, distorted field recordings, and blissful shards and fragments that fascinate, and pique the interest and imagination. Lopez, characteristically opens the collection with one of his classic UNTITLED pieces, #175, a 15 minute ultra minimal workout, that barely imposes itself on the ear, a cascade of activity that utilises slithers of micro-fine fabric to draw the listener into his world. English follows up with “Pattern Review by Motion”, a piece that blossoms from near silence, that swells in gradients, which then burst open in a froth of static, and amped-up gristle. The piece then fades and dissipates, rising and falling like slow breathing, using the self-similar sounds that Lopez opened with, a continuous, yet highly abstracted theme. English continues the collection with “Wire Fence Upon Opening”, again, enveloping us in a veil of opaque, and discrete auditory presences, minimalism taken to the Nth degree. Lopez closes the album with UNTITLED #204, a strange and alluring field recording, that sounds like a walk through a densely wooded area, full of crackles and ambiguous reference points, strange deformations, once again alternating this with the ultra-minimal central theme that he opens with. Overall, Baskaru have a masterwork of abstract minimalism on their hands, with two names that will carry this release to an undoubtedly successful conclusion – unique and intensely fascinating, and well worth your hard earned dollars..BGN

 

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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