When I became a music writer for the Sleeping Shaman, my goal was to dig deeper into the underground scene and talk about awesome but unknown bands. I have been doing this for quite some time now, but I have never talked about a Portuguese act. But at last, the opportunity has presented itself. Rui P. Andrade is a young producer and sound artist, part of the noise/black metal trio Ecos, and Nelson P.Ferreira is also a producer, from Lisbon, known for his ambient/drone textures as AVOIDANT (yes, with capital letters) and, more recently, as Earthly Beasts. The two have had a creative partnership for a long time, even performing together once in 2012, as a warm-up act for the Madeiradig music festival.
Their most recent collaboration is entitled Miklós. Here, traditional songwriting is thrown out of the window in favor of experimentalism and atmosphere. Sure, on the surface, a lot of this material might sound like deafening noise, but if one listens carefully, it quickly becomes clear this is electronic music stripped down to its purest form, art that breaks conventions – created, without a shadow of a doubt, with the intent of taking the listener on a surreal sonic journey, albeit a bit different than the one they offered us back in 2011, when they released White Mother.
At that time, their music was already highly experimental, featuring densely layered drones, but this one is extremely avant-garde, with the goal creatively being to deconstruct several compositional stages by which electronic music goes through (their own words). The non-existence of rules becomes, quite paradoxically, the norm, and there seems to be a conscious effort to produce something that cannot be accurately labeled. However, each composition feels like a chapter of a long novel that we all must read in order to understand the story being told. Nevertheless, the listener must put the pieces together, as if this was a puzzle. Definitely not an easy album to listen to, but once you get used to the labyrinth of sonic experimentation, the experience is amazing. There are melodic moments (reminiscent of Tim Hecker or Lawrence English) while others are a journey through the land of pure and relentless noise.
In the end, not everyone is going to enjoy it and a lot of people will think this is too outlandish, but music has always had, throughout its history, eccentric composers; take a look at John Cage and Pierre Schaeffer: their methods were unorthodox, but they were brilliant at what they did. While this isn’t necessarily influenced by them (at least directly) it is still an example of thinking outside the box. Those who love to discover exciting new music should check this out!
Label: HAZE Netlabel
Scribed by: Jorge Miguel