FRANCISCO LÓPEZ – Presque Tout (Quiet Pieces: 1993-2013)


It’s the end of another nauseating year. We’re asphyxiated by bazillions of releases produced by an equal number of artists, genuine or fake – mostly the latter. A desperate search for five minutes of glory characterizes the majority of records (and relative press hype) one can be forced to swallow.

That’s right, “forced to swallow”.

It looks like every person on this planet feels that a big injustice will occur if the fruits of their so-called labor remains without a comment. Nobody seems to remotely consider the necessity of non-attendance, at least for a while. Either via some kind of outing or through continuous vacuous posts on social media, it’s all a constant “peep-peep-peep” (to quote Randy Newman’s “Short People”).

Thus the moment is opportune for reminding of something that came out in 2014, at the same time coming back (after quite a long period) to a tireless researcher who deserves more attention than the bulk of what’s thrown our way nowadays.

Francisco López lets the others do the useless speaking. The only advice for Presque Tout is that of setting ourselves in a silent environment furnished with high-quality equipment for acoustic perception; the supernatural element is transmitted by a data DVD comprising three hours of immeasurable void. The sort of aural immensity committing the midpoint of a (still) healthy human being to the true significance. The nucleus of knowledge vainly looked for by many students of the “development” of that pitiful little booger known as man over the course of an unspecified amount of existences (psychic deficits not taken into account).

I am not even bothering to set forth the actual sonic content of these tracks. For decades now, the Spanish explorer has been a firm column in the music ambit that has to do with “deep listening” in its authentic acceptation. When López seizes the gist of a seemingly undistinguished movement, rest assured that a segment of that apparent nothingness constitutes instead the key to the innermost quivering.

The voiceless frequencies; the staggering murmur of inscrutability. Annihilating silence from which everything is born and to which everything returns.

You don’t simply “listen” to this material. There must be a natural ability to dissolve any hint to individuality inside the stream of chilling emptiness conveyed by these amazing pieces. The title’s reference (a respectful antithesis to Luc Ferrari’s Presque Rien) becomes a serious clue when realizing that barely outlined yet momentous exhalations – as close to the ultimate discernment as one can get – truly translate as “almost all” to someone not concerned anymore with plain corporeality.

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