The Beautiful Schizophonic - Musicamorosa (CD Crónica Electronica)
Maybe it's a hang-over from the gormless rock world but cynicism pervades what ought to be the naturally emotional genre of the drone. If it isn't the by-the-numbers stacking of tones (all process, no humanity), then it's the imposition of academia which kills off all emotional content. So it's a pleasure to experience Jorge Mantas' work which wears its heart on its sleeve. Unapologetically romantic and sentimental his complex swoops and multi-tonal glides are infused with found recordings reconfigured and interweaved with acoustic instruments. Think ICR or 7Hertz label releases but with a less acetic aesthetic. There may well be soft tones aplenty here but they are never formless, and always move with purpose.
These tracks are not about immersion, they are traditional length pieces, making them accessible for straight listening.
Jorge lives in a world of Edgar Allen Poe, Caspar David Friedrich, Eric Rhomer and Marcel Proust, from whom Jorge took the titles for all but two of these tracks. Innocent sentimentalism spins with idealism and wonder. The elegance of these tracks disassemble into a pure work of beauty with 'La Lectrice' where Cecile Schott (better known as 'Colleen') reads from Proust in Paris. A woman's voice without embellishment; what a wonder, what a wonder.
The pulsing acoustic guitar on 'Dans la Chanbre Magique d'une Sibylle' begins to build and suddenly stops. Voices chuckle as they start again, brighter, clearer this time. Like snapshots of a summer's day these are glimpses of moments occasionally forgotten.
If there is a weak track it's 'L'éternal Matin.' An aimless, rather lifeless looped guitar track. All the processing and reverbing can't hide and half-conceived track.
The most interesting piece of all is the final one, 'Soixante- Quartre (@c pour TBS)' which is far darker than the rest of the album but then suddenly begins to shimmer, and finally fragment into little beeping gems. Transformation. For the essence of what the album represents, what could be clearer than the sampling of the phrase 'This is the language of love' off a Coil album?
The line drawings by Christina Vantzou are naive images of flowers and a bikini clad young woman laying amongst nature. They wouldn't look amiss on Colleen's record covers.
A good heart can be heard even via an impersonal go-between as a cd. Bloody lovely. HM