SEA 25 | The Beautiful Schizophonic | [hyperblue.hydrophonics]
Once upon a time there was a little girl called Amorina.
She was sad because she was alone, so she started to cry.
She cried day after day, so much that the whole Earth turned into an
immense ocean of tears.
Then, she would spend the day quietly seated on the bottom of the sea
staring at the Sun, waiting for beauty to come into her soul.
She was so high under the sea, fading into the sky.
At night, she would listen carefully to each sound produced by the ocean,
every distant song, all the forgotten melodies.
And she would kiss in sound the crystalline flower of a smile,
like a silent goldfish glittering in the dark blue of the water.
Amorina was not alone anymore.
One night I dreamt with her.
The little girl said to me : 'Someday, your blue will cover the Earth'"
- Jorge Mantas, April 2005
is a portuguese versatile artist, altogether writer, mag & label
contributor (ossosNossos, Graphon, Thisco...), and of course musician...
After a few musical
collaborations, and some self-released works, he started The
Beautiful Schizophonic project in August 2003, using essentially
laptop and minidisc to process an array of carefully chosen sounds,
and aiming to elaborate a sort of multilevelled cinema for the ears...
Having previously released a split disc with Bio & Cría Cuervos
("Symptom of disease") on THISCO, The Beautiful Schizophonic
unleashes here it's debut full-length work...
"hyperblue.hydrophonics" drags you below
the surface of a perceptual ocean...
sounds heard through the water tables coalesce into an abstract lament
for a mythic lost love...
the flow vibrates, rich in undercurrents
swirling down to some dreamed drowned sanctuary, an edifice of sleeping
stones, a garden of memories...
"hyperblue.hydrophonics" is a sibylline sea
carrying its own mysteries & impenetrable truth...
an erratic flow capturing essences along its motion...
waves engulfed into themselves... mirorring our endless quest for identity
& fragments of pure beauty...
a night at the ocean > listen
02. somnambulist of my reason's nemesis (melancholy in 2 movements)
03. glacial dream
05. gothic cathedral under the sea
06. ritual of the embalmed chair
07. shiny inner beach
08. waterflowers in her mouth
09. hidden kiss > listen
Behind The Beautiful Schizophonic
is Jorge Mantas,
the Portuguese journalist who plays around with his laptop since 2003,
following a few collaborations.
His previous releases, three tracks on 'Symptom Of Thisease' and a self-released
3"CDR were reviewed in Vital Weekly 462. It was alright, but sort
of too lo-fi for me.
In that respect this new release, on the vastly expanding Mystery Sea
label, is a major step forward.
Taking literally sounds recorded from below the surface of water, he
transforms these sub-acquated sounds into a deep rumble, in nine
relatively short tracks. Short in terms of ambient/drone music, but
the conciseness of the pieces is actually quite nice.
Over the course of this release the music gets louder and louder, starting
out at the threshold of hearing and considerable louder at the end,
making this more a release of one track, divided in nine parts, rather
than nine separate pieces.
The music is much more coherent than his previous releases, and Mantas
shows himself an excellent student of drone music.
No big new moves inside the world of drone music, but a more than excellent
I'm quite surprised by this debut CD of Portuguese Jorge
Mantas, because what I had heard on a Thisco split CD with
Bio and Cria Cuervos didn't appeal to me at all. As it's often the case
in this kind of music, a good choice of sounds can really change the
course of things, thus nice records can spring out even when compositional
skills are not very refined. The Beautiful Schizophonic
has managed to capture many essential characters of an imaginary submersion
through a vast collection of barely intelligible manifestations ranging
from low rumbles and underground atmospheres through manipulation of
sources that result in powerful electronic menace or - naturally - undetermined
sloping water movements. All things considered, nothing miraculous -
but in the right moment, it works.
--- NEW !
3.5 stars out of 5
Last year I shared a
cd with Portuguese artists Bio and Jorge Mantas/The
Beautiful Schizophonic (by the way, another 3-way split cd
of his, with Pawel Grabowski and the John Eeck Ripple/Paolo Raposo duo,
has been recently released by Crónica), and I think he has a
really interesting, stripped-down approach to drone music. First of
all, Mantas usually comes up with shorter pieces than
most of one-sixty-minute-track dronemakers, then he also adds a gritty,
real time feel to them. I'm sure Mantas would probably
be able to reproduce his style in a live performance without much loss
in terms of impact and details. This 9-track, 39-minute release on Mystery
Sea is no exception, though TBS is also refining his techniques as time
goes by. "A night at the ocean" starts the work with barely
audible water recordings, filtered with Mantas' typical
understatement (on a side note, I noticed that walking with his recordings
in your headphones has a nice underwater-like effect). "Hyperblue.Hydrophonics"
is made of mostly elusive soundscapes, occasionally rising to more metallic
and noisy frequencies with great effects ("Gothic cathedral under
the sea", "Shiny inner beach"), and is definitely the
punkest (ahem!) release in the Mystery Sea catalogue to date.
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