Friday, 20 August 2010

Lucio Capece / Sergio Merce – Casa

At last I managed to listen to a CD that was floating on my desk since ages ago; shame on me, as always. At any rate, “casa” means “house” in Spanish (and Italian, too). The title comes from the recording place: you guessed right, at Sergio Merce’s home in Merlo, Argentina. The pair has been playing together since 1993, originally in very different contexts (baroque polyphony, anyone?); the duo as a separate entity started in 2002. Two tracks are presented: the first and longest one “Virar, Virar”, was realized through a sruti box (in essence, a harmonium), a filter and a tapeless Portastudio, played by Merce via small metallic objects manipulated in the recorder’s head area. It’s basically a drone piece with various gradations of engaged frequencies, sparse interruptions of the fundamental accumulation leaving a few moments to the mind to be relieved a little bit, lots of under-skin activities sounding like controlled feedback and random impulses. Impressive in parts, sporadically nearing Niblockian atmospheres. In any case, a serious approach which needs to be carefully examined: headphones are necessary to become conscious of what happens (also in the rear of the mix) whereas, by listening across a room, all we get is a series of wheezing slabs that oscillate and move, but ultimately result less striking. “Vieja Casa Nueva” is a duet for bass clarinet and tenor sax, much in the vein of low-frequency exploitation in regions bordering with onkyo. Parallel blowing, synchronized pauses, breath again, new matching whispered currents that buzz and throb. It goes on for about eight minutes, and it is nice to hear – although the former track is clearly more developed. (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)