Francisco Lopez has been described as a “sonic ecologist,” but I’m hard pressed to see what natural phenomena he is exploring here. “Untitled #89” is a single track, as are all of the rest in this series. I’ve heard the technique he uses on this recording as “going from tape-hiss to jet-engine-roar.” True to the description, “Untitled #89” starts out barely audible, with muted bell-like tones panning across the stereo field. Slowly emerges a hiss that eventually builds into a cavernous wall of drone. This drone rises and falls like the pulse of breathing, as if machines were given lungs, and exhaled corrosive steam. At 42 minutes, the drone suddenly cuts away, and reveals a barely audible hiss. Like all of Lopez’s work, “Untitled #89” is an intriguing slice of audio phenomena, rich in spatial and tonal qualities. I think.
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