A lecturer at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, composer Marco Scarassatti is also a designer of sound sculptures and installations, and a man definitely attentive to the juices flowing in the universe. His inspiration for Mojubá Exu comes from a series of studies related to Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religious form with fascinatingly complex facets. The huge amount of connections between the various entities of this cult is meticulously explained by Scarassatti in the liner notes, but it must be admitted in all honesty that, at one point, I got lost. This takes absolutely nothing away from the effectiveness of this recording, whose content is divided into four tracks.
The mother of everything we hear is an “Igba sculpture” made of wood, metal and found materials. The sounds are captured by contact microphones, amplified and processed in several ways. In the attempt of translating the animistic and energetic correlations into sonorities functional to the listener’s decoding abilities, Scarassatti produced an impressive environmental complement scented with Zoviet France/Z’EV-like ritualism. In practice, we go from the colorless hiss of (apparent) hydraulic pressure to the reverberation of plucked metals, from long-lasting drones loaded with invisible harmonic components to sudden increases in volume and dynamics. It’s a convincing conglomeration, its complexion halfway through shamanic improvisation and exploitation of room resonance for subtle psychoacoustic effect. In synthesis, a work full of disguised meanings and informed by compelling sonic nuances. After listening to it numerous times in a row, we were certainly not bored.