Monday, November 20, 2006


The circumstances I referred to last week are still extenuatin' along, but I've found enough time to do a quick blab about Mexo-American sound-soldier Loy Fankbonner, whose excellent El Pabellon is the first release on the promising new NYC label Azul Discografica, in which apparently Mr. F has some financial interest in (the label's second release is a rather tossed-off Mattin album, which can be forgiven just based on his great past work, and either way I'm still pretty psyched about a future Azul installment from California drone-twisters Starving Weirdos). El Pabellon is made soley out of the sounds that have come wafting through Fankbonner's Manhattan apartment window (which he then heavily processes, edits, and rearranges) - the embedded reporters at perennial web fave Bagatellen can give you the full scoop, but I just want to do a quick rundown of my favorite piece, "vecindario" (linked below).

It's hard to fathom exactly how Fankbonner went from sticking a mic in his window to ending up with this rattling piece of randomized percussion - most of the tracks on the album feel pretty documentary and/or outdoor-ish, but this one is a purely musical creation, and a pretty hypnotic one at that. The key is Fankbonner's timing - the twisted ebb and flow of his clicks, stomps, and crackles sometimes hews to patterns, other times deliberately dodges its own metronome, and most of the time lands in a hypnotic sweet spot in between. Early on some of the whirring sheen he lays on top of all the rattling is a little inconsequential, but eventually it builds into something thicker, and from about the six-minute mark everything starts to slice through the air like poisoned blades. Listeing to this in the car late last night during a creeping chill, it felt like each aural event was cutting an immediate hole through my gut, each note tucked into an enevelope of grating edge that's like a dentist's drill stuck in your ear. Hearing it again now, it doesn't have quite the same visceral effect, which only makes the piece more attractive - it slays you to whatever degree your current ear status allows it, which means it's truly part of the atmosphere. As with the rest of this excellent set of molecular compositions, Fankbonner has flipped a sneakily circuar trick, turning the air outside his apartment into the air pouring in and out of your ears.

LOY FANKBONNER - "vecindario" from El Pabellon


Anonymous neil kight said...

loy fankbonner is a nice lad. it's good to see he's still making music.

2:13 PM  

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