Spanish sound artist Miguel Angel Garcia, also known as Xedh, recorded Subsuelos during a number of “intense nocturnal sessions taken inside a 200 meter squared abandoned pavilion, with the initial intention of making an exploration of this sound-space”. The results have been issued on MP3 and FLAC files by this very label in May 2008; this is the “physical” version of the album.
Garcia utilized sounds exclusively coming from within the large room, adding a series of typically suggestive, if unsettling electronic tones which he proceeded to recapture via the same microphones. At the beginning of the CD – a minute and a half of scarcely perceptible presences welcoming the listener – one would be justified in thinking about yet another specimen of environmental examination in a vain attempt to give a musical voice to the menacing quietness of the night. Instead we’re in for a chain of events that surprise us quite often, abruptly shifting the focus of the piece over various sonic settings – some of them extremely beautiful, others less uplifting but stimulating nonetheless – which contribute to place the music in close proximity to acousmatic sharpness rather than cause an obvious “installation association”.
The malleability of the materials processed by Garcia is evident and superbly exploited throughout, unfathomable halos, echoes of forlornness and devastating excrescences succeeding in consecutive scenes amidst traces of loaded stillness. Although there’s nothing exactly innovative in this kind of notion I didn’t manage to locate stereotypes, frequently discarding the rational approach to simply put my perceptiveness in abandon mode for a sheer enjoyment of the states of trance that several episodes generate, with a particular mention for the breathtaking throbbing that certain subsonic emissions produce and the reiterative reverberations at the opening of the final track “Ipurtargik”, a magnificently remote resonance that defies any tentative description.
A commendable work from a composer whose maturity will hopefully bring additional juicy fruits, Subsuelos comes in a 50-copy ultra-limited edition. It should be attentively considered when appraising the next future of nowadays’ ambience-based electroacoustic perspicuity.