SEA 20 | Cría Cuervos | [Leitfossilien]
"Your voice humming in my blood, as cells collapse and your bodies
disintegrate - a shell museum, sea fossils on the mountain's back, dried
starfishes on the sidewalk. Taking shelter there from the sweetish stench
of hospital rot, our late night reunion, your lulling me to sleep."
- Eugenio Maggi, February 2005
Cuervos is italian artist Eugenio Maggi...
The name of his musical project is a direct reference to Carlos Saura's
movie of 1975 depicting a childhood world torn between reality &
imagination, an elliptical universe where each detail is thrown into
relief in a devious way... an apt metaphor for how Cría
Cuervos'music operates onto our mind & senses...
After some early analogue experimentations (1999), Cría
Cuervos refined its aural techniques to brew gradually more
visceral, layered & enthralling soundscapes, often incorporating
real sampled sources & unexpected, mutated field recordings...
This was confirmed by an impressive debut on IMMANENCE ("Cancroregina"),
and more recently by a split work & netlabel release with Sparkle
In Grey ("The Coldest January") on SINEWAVES/Ctrl+Alt+Canc
"Leitfossilien" is all low drawn late night
an helix structured movement,
a long addictive trace of sound disfiguring its support,
like a cryptic & forgotten imprint...
a song of ancient shells & memories trapped,
reverberated in tranquil, resurgent waves...
a growing fluidic embracing entity...
"Leitfossilien" is a viral sea with a metabolism
of its own...
an ascent to some pure hidden, unspoken language...
an alcove experience with transfiguring strength...
Leitfossilien > unrar
+ listen !
4 stars out of 5
This release follows
Cría Cuervos appearance on the split sampler (together
with Bio and The Beautiful Schizophonic) on the portuguese label Thisco.
This new cdr is out on Mystery Sea and if you never heard about this
label I think you'd better give a check to their full catalogue. I think
this guy is on the right way to find his "personality" or
at last that's my impression while listening his "concrete-isolationism"
or maybe "field-droning" is better. Call it the way you want
but the matter of "Leitfossilen" remains
the same: no "melody" (just some distant drones completely
absorbed by the audio "landscape"), every once in a while
the scenario is randomly (not so "randomly" anyhow) crossed
by new sound-sources kept in a constant and slow evolution. There's
a great "bushido" (read "self-discipline") sensation
carved inside these suites. Imagine Main gone "bad", or the
isolationist answer to the "H.I.A.+Biosphere" project, and
what if I say Thomas Köner and Eclipse caged in the ice of the
arctic sea? This music somehow presents a constant duel between the
composer's idea and the patience of the listeners and you can bet Eugenio
Maggi should have had a lot of fun while trying to bring the
listeners into a "desolated place". This record is far from
the "music where something is happening all of a sudden" idea,
elements are slowly and accurately combined like if it was a classical-piece.
Köner once said: "My music becomes fully connected to my retirement
from external life", I can't say if Cría Cuervos
has the same opinion about his music, but that's the impression that
"Leitfossilen" can give.
8 out of 10
is a biological journey, and Cría Cuervos is a master of evolution.
Vast and intangible, its processes creep forward on a molecular level,
shedding light into the deepest recesses of a virtual sea rich with
amino acids and raw elements. There is no rhythm here, and no need for
it either. Cría Cuervos has established a set of sounds on a
trajectory that offers tribute to life at its most detached and timeless.
"Leitfossilien" filters into audible perception with a barely
discernible hissing that steadily grows in intensity and prominence,
trailing in its wake the ageless primordial hum that ultimately defines
this 33-minute examination of pure ambient fluidity. The movement of
sound is ceaseless; a tidal flux that cycles gently and patiently through
one crescendo after another, each time draining away like water across
an expanse of sand. Mild, directionless drones are suspended delicately
in the air, hanging for minutes at a time before washing away in the
bottomless ether, while muffled pulses sporadically knock against the
baffles of this planetary petri dish. Later, distant cataracts splash
and rage as monolithic rumblings permeate the underlying layers.
Though the nature of water is to constantly move and reshape itself,
water inevitably allows a sense of permanence as well. Geologically
speaking, aqueous matter sometimes hardens to stone and remains for
eons, projecting into the future transmuted biological and organic elements
through the collaboration of time and minerals. What Cría Cuervos
has accomplished in "Leitfossilien" is a digital record of
life itself, illuminated as fossils might be from unimagined ages past.
I am not sure if the demo I referred too
when I reviewed Cría Cuervos 'Immanence' in
Vital Weekly 423, found it's way to Mystery Sea, but it might very well
be. Cría Cuervos returns to that first release
with this new work 'Leitfossilien': that of deep ambient
music. In one, thirty-three minute track, he depicts an obscure cloud
of sound that moves throughout the piece from dark to light. It's like
a stroke of paint: filled with paint at the beginning and slowly, when
putting the paint on paper, the paint disappears. Something similar
happens with this music. It starts out in total darkness and ends in
total light. Not that it is all that minimal of course, things move
in and out, there is even a slight touch of rhythm here and there. It's
hard to tell what Cuervos is using here, soundwise, but I am sure it's
a whole bunch of software synthesizers and time stretching on probably
the simplest of sounds. Not that it really matters of course, the result
is what counts, at least to me. And that is fine enough!
Fischer --- NEW !
Back on the release day of this album, Mystery Sea was
already “the ECM of ghostly ambient sounds”, but not quite yet the household
name it has turned into by now, with many of its strictly limited releases
selling out quickly and with most fans of drone-related music almost
buying on a subscription base. Which could be why “Leitfossilien”
is currently still available and may have been “a bit overlooked” as
label boss Daniel puts it. At a time when Eugenio Maggi
is stepping up the pace with a couple of new solo releases as well as
a slot as one of the artists on the formidable “Desert Space” compilation,
it is indeed a good moment to take a new perspective on his Cría
Cuervos project and this unusual work.
Not just unusual, it has turned out quite remarkable indeed, for several
reasons as well. First of all, the typical wideness and spatial feel
are noticeably absent, the sound sources perfectly abstract with the
exception of the occasional morphed cymbal pad and a field recording
of wind and bubbling noises which enters the action at times. Then there
is the simultaneity of shortness and length, the disc consisting of
a single track spanning thirty-three minutes. Within this compact vastness
lie both recognizable elements and even certain leitmotifs (possibly
a hint at the album’s title, which was furthermore inspired by a morbid
poem penned by Maggi himself), as well as stretches
of almost complete silence and subcutaneous events, when the music hasn’t
come to a complete standstill, but moves almost without sound on soft
dark slippers. The aforementioned poem also mentions” our late night
reunion, your lulling me to sleep." and without doubt “Leitfossilien”
is at least partially about the state between waking and (perchance)
dreaming, the mind fading into near-oblivion and the void, before surfacing
into a drowsy slumber and short clearness, only to lapse back into physical
reality again. The deeper end of the sonic spectrum is of minor importance
here, keeping the tension simmering all the time, as long-drawn sighs
and faint streaks of light colour a white canvas against a fog-clad
horizon. There seems to be a touch of eastern philosophy at work, with
each tone being awarded equal importance, each new note waiting patiently
until the former has died down. It is a constant transformation of the
same elements Cría Cuervos is staging here and
the greatest achievement is that he makes these cycles seem different
each time around.
Maybe the outward softness and inner fidgetiness of “Leitfossilien”
were too subtle at first to make this an instant success. Now both Mystery
Sea and Eugenio Maggi have gone on to establish themselves
as noteworthy factors on the scene, there may well be a chance of more
listeners trying this on despite their initial reservations. And that
would be a great way for this record to receive the appreciation it
to the Reviews index