(New Album Review) Edu Comelles- Agost

Edu Comelles is a Valencia-based sound artist, musician, and curator whose work represents some of the most psychically dynamic, deliciously-textured acousmatic music out there waiting to be uncovered by whoever’s inquisitive enough to take the plunge. Beginning with the seething laptop drones of his live performances as Mensa, over the years he has formed a consummately expressive, immersive style of sound art that meshes sound synthesis and processing with field recording, as well as telepathic collaborations with acoustic players such as cellist Sara Galán. Moreover, his netlabel Audiotalaia  released work by Philip Sulidae, one of my tried-and-true favorites among the international acousmatic scene (though less active in the way of releasing new material as of late), in addition to a DJ mix from the always engrossing Heezen. In short, if you are in search of mind-manifesting electro-acoustic soundscapes, then Comelles is definitely your guy, whether as curator or architect… which means that his new release for Barcelona’s spa.RK, Agost, will no doubt be a great last-minute discovery for your 2015!

For Agost, Comelles had some help from Sara Galán on cello once again, along with Avelino Saavedra on drums, Lucy Claire on piano, and Fernando Junquera on electric guitar, but really, what fascinates about these pieces is the impressionistic manipulation of a sample Comelles recorded of his finger brushing the edge of a wine glass– the concept here was to utilize this single sound source to the exclusion of any others, barring the contributions of his collaborators. From this single seed, lush drones flower and die. Agost is a municipality near Valencia– its sonic counterpart holds within it long quiet afternoons and nights of fireflies. Compared with chilly, uneasy stuff of the likes of Comelles’s more field-recording-oriented A Country Falling Apart, Agost is serene and pensive; listening to this, I feel like I’m falling through a sun-dappled leafy funnel from the golden hours of summer into autumn’s embrace. How odd, then, that it’s seeing the light of day now that the hours are so cold and short. It is endlessly enveloping all the same, a shimmering dream that ends too quickly…


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