Ernesto Diaz-Infante had an uncle named Emilio, unfortunately kept in custody in a mental hygiene facility until his death in April 2011. Reportedly, the man was used by Diaz-Infante’s parents as an intimidating reference when he wouldn’t behave as they thought appropriate (“you’ll end up like Uncle Emilio!”). A bajo sexto, an electronic tanpura and a singing bowl were utilized to devise 32 short tracks for what the Californian defines as a “yoik” to the ill-fated relative (in extreme synthesis, the term – coined by Morton Feldman – stands for a transfer of the essence of a person into a composition). As far as the sonic outcome is concerned, this is definitely a brilliant record. Sagacious blending of dozens of intuitions and ceremonial absorption lie at the basis of music that makes the most of rich resonances, percussive repetition of the trance-inducing kind and linear fragments not distant from certain pages of Hans Reichel’s book. Thanks to the particularly close miking of the instruments, each subtle vibration was captured; we almost perceive the scent of wood and the sweating fingers on the buzzing strings. No effects at all, perhaps a few utensils (indeed a glance to some of Diaz-Infante’s performances on YouTube reveals that he often uses a screwdriver to create clang-and-jangle mantras or scratch out harsher types of pulse). Either via pseudo-koto twangs or spellbinding subsonic frequencies, this concise album enhances several focal points while treating us remarkably well in terms of acoustic appeal.
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