in a chair,
relaxing in the wings of a bird,
I see the dark horizon,
smelling the wave...
storm will be soon here.
words, no requiem, only ghosts coming from there...
feel something strange...just displaced sensations...
Carlos Villena (as edited by Daniel Crokaert),
From seething Barcelona,
Carlos Villena is a multidisciplinary artist both versed
in music & graphic design... he has done quite a lot of performances
with other experimental musicians... Most of his released works so far
were either solos or splits (with for instance, Francisco López,
Z'ev, Cornucopia, Freiband, Jan Kees Helms...) on his own immaculate
label, Mantricum. He also had a very well received
3"cd-r on Ephre Imprint... Working on the combined fringes from
many genres, Carlos has clearly a talent in shaping engaging & hallucinating
"movies" for the ear... demanding, but ultimately gripping
A flock of birds, a pool of clouds...
ribbons in shreds fluttering in the wind,
old grazed wood,
roaring voices in the distance,
The night is flowing, pace
memories turn to dust...
We start feeling differently,
non linear, oblique ways of perception,
A blurred world full of tangents,
"Sensacions Desplaçades" wraps us
in a gauze,
a reverbered haze,
just to make us see deeper within things...
CDR ltd to 100 numbered copies
VITAL WEEKLY 792|Frans
--- NEW !
Best known for his work with his own
label Mantricum, Carlos Villena also composes his own
music, using field recordings and shortwave sounds. For his 'Sensacions
Desplaçades' he sticks his microphone outside but not
really in the water, as we should think is somewhat required with this
label. Its a work that has a flow however, perhaps alike water, but
it seems less based on composition principles and more about going with
the flow of the recording that is the background drop of it. I have
no idea what that is, but it may seem that it is a recording of a motorway,
to which he adds a bunch of other field recordings and mainly uses the
equalization to transform it during its fifty-one minute course. This
is a true sound-scape, without too much care for detail or dramatic
courses, but that is perhaps not always necessary. Not the best work
around, but all in all quite alright.
THE FIELD REPORTER|Caity
--- NEW !
Sensacions Desplaçades is characterized by a restricted
use of resources, field recordings raw and processed, a clever and effective
shifting relationship between background and foreground, and an element
of mystery in the perception of transitions between clearly marked passages.
The sound sources are pleasing and engaging enough: an almost ‘classical’
introduction (within the idiom) of birds, traffic, indeterminate human
activity, a rustling in the wings of what might be foliage. Then the
processed sounds, less recognizable: longer drawn out midrange textures,
growling sounds, extremes of register, resonant timbres with a hint
of pitch, machine sounds, uncertain biophonies, even some very acousmatic
whooshy envelopes. At times the music settles into waves or pulses of
varying period, a feature of an earlier Mystery Sea release by Philip
It would seem as if the same sounds recur, modified slightly in various
ways at each recurrence, combined and recombined differently each time.
I’m reminded of a particular Harry Partch album with many short
tracks, each presenting a different study combining his hand made instruments.
The density of the polyphony varies from elegant two voice passages
to complex contrapuntal sections, nodes of tension facilitating the
pace and flow of the overall work, and, more importantly, working to
avoid monotony, a danger in all lengthy sound works relying on restricted
resources. Here’s the nub of this kind of work – how do
you create and sustain interest with field recordings? Are they inherently
interesting and captivating or, if they do need artistic working to
engage the listener, how can this be carried out successfully? Overall
in Villena’s choice of unremarkable sounds there
is something of Arte Povera’s use of commonplace materials.
There are no sudden movements or revelations. An air of dogged patience
pervades the work as we reach false summit after false summit. Again
the threat of monotony is felt as we wait expectantly for something
to unfold. There is no development or discernable direction, musical
or narrative, which isn’t a problem in itself in new sound and
music works, as long as some sort of interest and engagement with the
listener is maintained. The balancing factors are, to an extent: the
hints of a cyclical treatment of form, the pulses of sound, and pulses
within pulses, which have just enough presence to push the work along;
the binary contrasts between recognizable and obscure sounds and between
simple and complex passages. It is a very fine balance. There are moments
where the passages of contrast and added interest get in the way, for
example filmic intrusions which certainly change the focus of the work,
but which break the flow and the mood perhaps too suddenly.
There is one short section of the work which I could have listened to
for hours, a passage in which the ‘pure’ gentle ambience
of field recordings simply carry the listener along – wind in
trees, a rustle of something in a bush, possible human activity. Perhaps
a personal predilection and almost certainly stemming from a childhood
memory, but I’ve listened to some artists recently who are exploiting
this pure ambience, which goes far beyond any category of ‘ambient’,
A final clever touch that should be mentioned is the pseudo arch form
where the piece returns, more or less, to the same sounds at the end
as were used at beginning.
In conclusion the album is a fine contribution to the idiom, another
important step forward in Mystery Sea’s developing profile as
a quality specialist label.
the field reporter