López #228 cover  
by Björn Werkmann,
in Ambient Exotica , Oct 2012


Untitled #228 is, at first glance, simply another field recording-focused but heavily processed LP by Madrid-based sound artist Francisco López. And in a way he gives the fans exactly what they expect: drone-fueled, machine-like settings interspersed with natural sounds and distant voices. And yet does this particular untitled work of 2009, released on the Ini Itu label and limited to 250 numbered vinyl versions, feature three intriguing standout concepts: for one, all sounds of the two 20+ minutes long arrangements were recorded in Indonesia, so the exotic, foreign flavor is undoubtedly perceptible in each minute. Secondly, it is not Francisco López himself who recorded these sounds, but the Indonesian Makassar-based sound collector Blindhæð. These particles and vignettes thus don't sound all too alienating for Blindhæð, as he is used to the atmosphere and knows where to catch the interesting sounds and what to expect at the unnamed locations his field recordings derive from. Thirdly, it is the task of López to assemble, filter and alter the hell out of the provided material; his status as a producer, curator, selector or creative engineer is therefore specifically emphasized. The presented material is traversed by drones as expected, but it is unclear whether the splutters and fizzles were originally present in the respective locations or whether they have been added at a later point by López. These thoughts aren't important in the end, but they explicate the synergetic nature of Blindhæð the provider, and López the producer.


Side A launches with the first Indonesian collection of field recordings taken by Blindhæð, and it sure enough does not start in the way the listener expects. Whatever he or she might presume, the Spanish producer probably neglects it, for López’s work is as iridescent as it is darkly bubbling. But here, the artist decides to use a shawm-heavy big band performance as transmitted by an Indonesian radio station. Their muffled, warbled and wonky sound seems to transport the swinging 60’s, but remains too weird and warped to ever inject the originally intended warmth of this unknown arrangement. The next phase launches after one minute already, introducing the chopped tremolo of a deep radiator-esque machine adjacent to fragile clicks and an abyssal drone layer. Male and female service announcements as well as blurred scents of melodies are interwoven. Did this scenery take place in a public transportation vehicle? The echo of the woman’s voice suggests a large train station or airport. Glistening galactic wind chimes and a downward spiraling alto flute loop are placed in-between the bustling but strangely enchanting gallimaufry. And the liveliness increases, as Blindhæð moves right into the melting pot of several people and buzzing cowbells, while López is adding static noises of a seemingly defunct radio transmitter. Tribal drums are intertwined and boost the exotic feeling further. The third phase of side A consists of a moment of tranquility when the cowbells/wind chimes cling and plink in light rain until a pesky mosquito flies around the listener's head. The fourth phase is machine-like yet again, with the sounds of airplanes passing by. Since this passage is quite rich in high frequency tones, it is a bit frantic, but never too harsh. The fifth phase presents an ebullient, effervescent maelstrom of conflating machine clangs and creaks, but it’s an unexpectedly enthralling example of snugness which finishes with an encore of the mosquito. Francisco López assembles the many field recordings of Blindhæð in his usual way, creating a mélange of dynamic locations mixed with tranquilizing moments of calmness. Never is there a moment where things go over the top, are too loud, crazy or baneful.


Side B begins with the performance of a so-called gamelan, a traditional Indonesian ensemble that plays bronze percussion instruments. Belly-massaging drones, pouring rain or related crackles in the distance together with hauntingly gelid gong sweeps in the background widen the perceptible room of the mix. It’s a gloomy Dark Ambient opening, and the enormously deep drones almost swallow the spectral bells. They don’t sound like normal gongs, but oscillate many times due to their several seconds long sustain and reverberation. After three minutes, new layers are introduced and rev the eeriness up: a concoction of portentous strings and brazen crackles is now adamantly in place, all the while the bass drone is resurrected every so often. Their tonality shifts into higher regions, their volume grows, and the wafting screeches reach a climax that is utterly encapsulating, spine-tingling and bone-crushing at the same time. A very intimidating listening experience, completely out of this world, strongly transcendental, as if the listener takes part in an arcane ritual. And so the screeching drones or strings grow higher and higher until they reach dimensions that don’t reveal the original source to the human ear anymore. It could be swarms of cicadas. Or a train braking at the station. In any way, this 22 minutes long vignette is a blast. The focus on one event stands in strong contrast to the six phases or sections of side A, and since it is much more harmonious in its setting, as the listener never moves but takes a sitting position, this tune is much more about the performance than an exciting walk through locations filled with people.


The offered material on Untitled #228 depicts the two major ways of their presentation. Generally, an artist can firstly create a time lapse as López does on side A, where six distinct phases and different places can be distilled. Movement, motion, rest and observation are the main ingredients, and sure enough do incidental chances and coincidences play an important role as well, though I believe that you can rule them out most of the time, for Blindhæð is an artist based in Indonesia and probably didn't view the respective locations with the rose-tinted glasses of a tourist, but with the watchful eye of a guy in the know. The other major possibility is to record an incident and largely present it as it happened, without any time lapse. This is mostly the case on side B, when the celebratory performance of gamelan musicians takes place. Naturally, López added both the drones and a tone pitch to the performance, with the possibility of further hall and reverb effects, but the main point is that the listener sits still and aurally watches the procedure from one single place at a certain time without any movement. Regardless of your preferred way of recording natural incidents and the bustling city life, this LP has something for everyone. Side A is dynamic and varied, presenting every element commonly found in López works, while side B is tremendously dark and frightening, yet silky enough to be somewhat enchanting for the skilled listener. It is a gargantuan piece that starts humble and in a mellow fashion, but soon enough unleashes various brazen layers and string-based patterns. The ritualistic aura adds much to the intimacy, and the pitch-black drones round off the frightening listening experience and serve as a counterpoint to the exceedingly glacial pitch. Francisco López delivers another feast for lovers of field recordings. Vinyl #211 is in my possession, the remaining copies shall be yours. 


by Fabrice Vanoverberg,
in Rif Raf 159, April 2010


Personnage vénéré en cette rubrique, notamment grâce à sa magnifique collaboration avec l’Australien Lawrence English sur le label français Baskaru (‘HB’, un de nos tops de l’an dernier), Francisco López donne à chaque instant l’envie ultime de se plonger corps et âme dans la poésie sonore de ses moments captés en divers lieux du globe. Après les vibrations volatiles enregistrées au Costa Rica de l’an dernier, l’artiste sonore espagnol a magnifiquement retravaillé les archives ramenées d’Indonésie, transformées en des séquences absolument étonnantes de vies humides – les gouttes de pluie scintillent dans les oreilles – et de dynamisme chaotique. Très variées, les deux faces du disque vinyle explorent mille et une facettes de l’archipel aux confins de l’Asie du sud-est. Visions hallucinées de la vie extérieure d’une métropole qu’on imagine grouillante, climat humide équatorial qui fait passer notre drache nationale pour un pipi de moineau ou échos insectivores au bord de l’océan, les multiples field recordings de López brossent un tableau luxuriant qui donne bigrement envie de boucler ses valises. A contrario, la face B, nettement plus abstraite, dissèque électroniquement l’instrument indonésien national (le gamelan) dont il ne reste qu’une vision spectrale et désincarnée. Aboutie et mystérieuse, gagnant en intensité au fil des minutes, la démarche rejoint une des plus fameuses oeuvres de l’artiste ibérique, son ‘Untitled #104’ où il passait à la moulinette le doom metal pour n’en conserver que des fragments épars, tel un puzzle insoluble.


review by Johancolin
on his blog, "Les oreilles qui bourdonnent"


Quand j’ai découvert l’univers des field recordings, je suis rapidement tombé sur le nom de Francisco Lopez. Cependant devant la multitude des sorties du bonhomme je n’ai pas su par où commencer et j’ai laissé tomber. De plus le terme ‘field recordings’ couvre un champs très large d’esthétiques et de contenus et je ne me voyais pas choisir un album totalement au hasard. Ce qui m’a fait me pencher sur ce disque en particulier est simplement qu’il s’agit d’une édition vinyle (chose rare pour Francisco Lopez), limitée à 250 exemplaires (cerise sur le gâteau) dont en plus des extraits sont en écoute ici et . Pour une première rencontre avec l’univers de Francisco Lopez, je dois dire que je suis séduit.

Untitled #228 ne correspond pas exactement à ce à quoi je m’attendais au vu des extraits que j’avais écouté. Cependant cela est une bonne chose, la musque va bien au delà de mes espérances. L’album invite à un voyage de plus excitant. Il m’ouvre de plus de nouvelles perspectives pour explorer un univers sonore dont les limites ne cessent de reculer.

La face A est un gigantesque collage où se donnent à entendre des bribes de discussions, des cliquetis en tous genres, quelques fantômes de mélodies, des enregistrements de rue et des bruits d’insectes… L’enregistrement est semblable à la bande son d’un reportage sans images faisant partager la vie ordinaire (vécue et fantasmée) des habitants d’Indonésie. En effet l’album est entièrement constitué d’enregistrements réalisés en Indonésie par un dénommé Blinhead,  puis manipulés, transformés et assemblés par Francisco Lopez. Ce qui frappe c’est la minutie de la composition ainsi que la clarté et la précision des sons et des textures. Les sons bruts gardent leurs identités propres tout en se mélangeant magistralement les uns aux autres. Certains d’entre eux évoquent les glitchs et textures les plus élaborés de Fennesz sur Plus forty seven degrees 56′ 37″ minus sixteen degrees 51′ 08″

Je suis toujours étonné de la singularité et de l’étrangeté que les sons de notre environnement quotidien acquièrent quand ils sont enregistrés et isolés avec une précision chirurgicale et donnés à entendre dans un contexte différent.

La face B est plus atmosphérique et évoque un morceau d’ambient sombre, genre dans lequel le label Type excelle. Francisco Lopez nous invite à une lente dérive cauchemardesque et vaporeuse réalisée à partir d’enregistrements de gamelans. Cette musique spectrale donne à entendre des tintements stridents et éthérés sous lesquels rampent de puissants drones. Elle pourrait parfaitement servir de B.O. à n’importe quelle scène de film d’horreur à l’ambiance onirique et mystérieuse.

Un véritable travail de composition pour lequel les matières premières ne sont pas des notes mais des enregistrements sonores réalisés en plein air au plus près de la réalité quotidienne. Jetez-y une oreille.


review on Textura ( march 2010 )


Francisco López's training as an entomologist and ecologist comes acutely into play on untitled #228, specifically in its focus on the two micro-detailed sound works he created from raw field recordings captured in various Indonesia locales (Jakarta, Bandung, Yogjakarta, Bira, Makassar,Tana Toraja) by Blindhead. The fourth release on the ini.itu imprint is the sound artist's first solo vinyl release since untitled#92 appeared on Mego in 2000.
An abundance of sounds proliferates throughout the A-side's twenty-two minutes, with the multi-layered material cumulatively enabling the listener to visualize the sonic splendour of Indonesia. The initial emphasis is on human interaction, as a dense fabric of voices suggests activity at a hectic city center or marketplace, but the voices subsequently vanish, leaving a restless churn of noises—some identifiable, some not—in their place. López mutates, processes, and weaves creaks, engine sounds, clatter, and emissions into a constantly mutating mass. He purposefully blurs the lines separating natural and industrial environments, and detaches the sounds from their referential associations until one hears the piece as pure abstract flow.
The second side is a different animal altogether. Cavernous bass tones throb while phantom traces of gamelan appear in the distance, almost as if what we're witnessing is the resurrected spirit of gamelan. If the A-side shows López stitching a battery of sounds into a collage of sorts, the B-side finds him processing the source material until it resembles a prism through which tones are refracted into glassy, micro-tonal streams, all of them shrouded within a muffled veil of reverb. The clangorous character one associates with conventional gamelan is gone, and in its place is an ambient meditation whose ever-intensifying sharp-edged tones exude an overt musical dimension absent from the opening piece. In short, López's untitled #228 makes for a compelling addition to a catalog of work so huge it's been documented by more than two hundred record labels around the world.


by Roger Mills
from Furthernoise.org


Manipulating field recordings made in various Indonesian locales by label colleague Blindhead, Francisco López's Untitled # 228 is a collage of processed and layered sound events created from source material such as street ambiance, train station announcements and omnipresent calls to prayer. Without track titles, side A begins as a gradual evolution of metallic drones and textures, resonating like an acoustic palimpsest, building dynamically as each new layer is added and the impression of the previous layers continue to underscore. Side B moves in less of a continuum, instead fragments of indecipherable voices and sounds swirl around in a montage of sonic undulations and frequencies, underpinned by some hefty sub bass tones. He describes his methodology as “absolute musique concrète”, and there are obvious parallels to acousmatic works such as Pierre Schaeffer’s, Étude aux chemins de fer. That said, claims like this will have academics quaking in their boots, and López is no stranger to controversy when it comes to theoretical analysis, particularly of the Cagean variety. Yes, there are all the ingredients of the acousmatic tradition, however I can’t help asking “is there the headroom room in musique concrete for an absolute or more total acousmatic aesthetic than what already exists?

In Thomas Bailey’s book MicroBionic:Radical Electronic Music and Sound Art in the 21st Century, López himself refers to the romantic notion of absolute music rejecting the narrative and representation in favour of the non-objective. In his words defending “the notion of music attaining its full, real, essential potential and strength when devoid of descriptive or narrative elements alien to the music itself” [2]. I think there is some confusion in his analogy here, which disregards the effect of harmony and melody on the conveyance of mood. It also misconstrues the absolutist romantic position, which accepts that music will always carry tonal signifiers, but that it is in a composer’s deliberate design of timbre and rhythm that poetic meaning or narratives are created. Context is also paramount here, of equal importance is the form of musical composition being referred to, and analogous definitions between sound works of manipulated field recordings and music composition are problematic.

In any event López is clearly moved by discourse and its application to his practice, which endears rather than isolates his work to me. Enthusiasts of signal processing, field recordings and ambient drone will enjoy this release, and if Untitled # 228 isn’t about anything, who cares?

It sounds good to me…. even if I it does remind me of Indonesia.

These are but two of the ini.itu label's recent releases, and if they have wet your appetite there are another two stunning releases by Blindhaed and Twinkle3, which should also be of interest. As their motto goes. "there are many ways to be here and there" and listening to what they have on offer, I would add NOW to it.

[2] Bailey, T, B.W. (2009) MicroBionic:Radical Electronic Music and Sound Art in the 21st Century, Creation Books.

by Ian Holloway
from Wonderful Wooden Reasons


4th vinyl release from this great new label and this time out featuring one of the premier sound artists currently active. Lopez oeuvre is one of intensive manipulation of concrete sounds generally those of the natural world although he isn't averse to the occasional foray towards those made by people.

Using recordings collected in Indonesia by Blindhaed (the folks behind Ini Itu) this release has two distinct halves (as you'd expect from an LP I suppose). Side one is a noisy assemblage of street noise and announcements recombined and recontextualised to create a narrative all of it's own. It takes on a new character becoming the soundtrack to the post-modern metropolis. A veritable riot of sound, information, instruction and seduction. The only thing missing is the smell.

Side two is a much subtler animal. The press release notes it as being 'a spectral take on gamelan' which seems a fair summary. The swooping metallic drone certainly has a ringing bell quality, it's the sound of what's left of the music after it's initial purpose has been realised.

I think for me the sheer dynamism of side one is the albums pinnacle. It makes for fabulously compulsive listening. Side two is a lovely piece of edgy drone music and at any other time I would be singing it's praises to the world because it's marvellous but in this instance I simply would have liked to have heard more of the type of composition that marks the former side.

Another excellent Ini Itu release to be sought out post haste.



by Sergey
from Maeror3 blog

( english translation here )


 Удивительно, но в обширнейшей дискографии Франциско Лопеса не так много виниловых изданий, а уж LP можно сосчитать по пальцам одной руки – собственно, в прошлый раз испанец позволял зафиксировать свое творчество в подобном формате почти что десять лет назад. Для его экспериментальных пьес винил может быть и подспорьем, и наказанием – характерный треск и микрошумы этого носителя способны как добавить новые нюансы в некоторые вещи музыканта, так и разрушить неповторимую атмосферу большинства из них. Тем не менее, стараниями лейбла «Ini.Itu» свет увидел этот «long play» – и, кажется, его звуковое наполнение совершенно. 
        Владелец этого лейбла испытывает особую страсть к Индонезии с ее богатой традицией музыки «гамелан». В распоряжение Франциско были переданы записи, сделанные участником проекта «Blindhæð» в этой стране – записи, зафиксировавшие ее музыкальную культуру, круговерть и хаос больших городов, и размеренное существование нетронутой природы. Это звуковой набор для тех, кто любит совершать путешествия, закрыв глаза и занимаясь визуализацией. В данном случае Франциско почти не трансформирует исходные записи (лишь немного обрабатывает их для придания особенного, объемного звучания), и, следуя за этими звуками, можно попасть в огромный пустой вокзал, где слышны только многочисленные шорохи, тиканье часов, голоса по громкой связи. Постепенно вокзал наполняется людьми, спешащими по своим делам, и вместе с ними мы можем проследовать на улицы города, пропитанные жарким зноем, голосами прохожих, песнями уличных музыкантов. Повышенная концентрация всех этих элементов создает расширенную звуковую панораму, которая полностью вовлекает в себя слушателя. Но ненадолго – неожиданно все замирает, автор оставляет всех наедине с тишиной, а потом наполняет все вокруг шумом океанских волн и ритуальной перкуссией. Волны бурлят несколько минут, после чего отбрасывают слушателей опять на тот же самый вокзал, заполненный монотонным перестуком колес проходящих мимо поездов. Это было путешествие в «цивилизацию» - а противоположная сторона пластинки предлагает отправиться в путешествие внутрь себя. Предельно замедленные постукивания металлических палочек превращены в тончайший гул, проплывающий на некотором расстоянии от слушателя. Это бесконечный дрейф из ниоткуда в никуда, медленное скольжение по металлической поверхности, порождающее еле уловимые вибрации и физически осязаемую дрожь. Предельная переработка исходных материалов, после который остается только звук ради звука, не помнящий своего происхождения. Идеальная для медитаций вещь. А в целом «Untitled #228» показывает, что у Лопеса есть неисчерпаемые запасы пороха в пороховницах. Еще недавно казалось, что его последние работы ушли в бесконечные самоповторы – и вот, пожалуйста, абсолютно оригинальная, практически безупречная работа. Для всех, кто «в теме» - строгие рекомендации. 

by James Wyness
on his blog "Fouter & Swick"


Along with Anaphoria’s latest release ini itu kindly sent me a copy of Francisco Lopez’ Untitled #228, another 250 copy vinyl album. It might be my imagination, or perhaps the fact that I’m not listening to everything these days over critical studio monitors, but vinyl does seem to sound so much warmer. That’s what I enjoyed most about this album – no harsh sounds, everything well balanced and finely equalised.

I found myself on first litening doing a lot of sound source identification and singling out the techniques used to separate the various strands of material on side A. This is a 22 minute track composed from a range of representational material, field recordings in other words, carried out in Indonesia. In terms of getting the best out of his resources, selecting and combining, Lopez has an excellent technical ear. After several listens you come to appreciate what a fine musical ear he has as well.

Music made from environmental sound. The concept is very simple and Lopez keeps his work simple, this in my opinion being his greatest strength as a composer. For example he likes to let things run, to allow the material to develop itself, giving the ear time to take in the spectral and dynamic complexity of the evolving sounds. This is done with great skill – I’ve heard some fairly monotonous results from less able composers using similar approaches.

Musicality in general and in particular a sense of orchestration began to assert themselves. At times, both background and foreground layers would reveal repeated tonal figures or emphatic percussive passages. A particularly lively knitting needle click-clack sort of sound came and went throughout the mix, layered at one point with a ‘real world’ drum figure. All overshadowed by a shifting texture of recordings of  voices speaking announcements through loudspeakers, again captured from various ‘real-life’ contexts.

The music fades to a very tiny buzzing sound, a bluebottle on cocaine. This builds slowly and meticulously to reveal, again, a counterpoint of well separated layers, including a watery whooshing sound, encouraging all sorts of narrative responses in the listener, mine being a particularly stormy night in a bothy somewhere in the Scottish Highlands .

Side B is fairly straightforward for those with a background in acousmatic music. Here, according to the sleeve notes, Lopez is offering us a ’spectral take on gamelan’. It would stand up well against other pieces in the idiom. There’s nothing original or radical here, just  a very beautiful and well considered use of the source material, offering us a slow crescendo of complex inharmonic spectra as the sounds of the processed struck metal percussion reveal their sonic riches.

So far, so good. A thoroughly enjoyable album which I’d strongly recommend to anyone. But I have some serious reservations about some of the claims made on the sleeve notes. We are told, for example, that ‘his reflection on the phenomenology of the act of listening has led him to develop a form of ‘absolute musique concrete’, paralleling the richness, complexity, slow changes and extreme level dynamics of nature. It also leads him to detach his pieces from narrative developments, referential associations of sounds with reality, and psychological resonances. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein: a sound is a sound is a sound is a sound’.

Emotion could be considered as a form of psychological resonance. Does Lopez mean that we should attempt to suppress our emotional response to music, more specifically to his music?

There are several problems here. If a sound is a sound, etc., we’d all report the same experience after listening to music made from representational material, which we don’t. We’d never be able to play Chinese whispers either. So somebody is confusing poiesis with esthesis (check it out).

There’s something Newtonian about this particular claim. Perhaps it’s an attempt at certainty, even determinism, in the very uncertain and chaotic world of the making and reception of sound and music.

I accept of course that you can have a music which parallels the richness and complexity of the sounds of nature and the environment. Although I don’t know off the top of my head what ‘absolute musique concrete’ is, I can make an informed guess. My real problem is with the bit about detaching oneself from narrative developments and so on.

I’m also prepared to accept any or all of the following: that the statement might not be from Lopez himself, but from representatives of the label, though I doubt it from what I’ve read elsewhere; that this is a piece of aesthetic rhetoric, a unique selling point to assist in marketing the product, not unexpected perhaps given such a prodigious output of recorded material; that the artist himself has indeed succeeded in listening with a level of detachment which rejects narrative and the other features mentioned. This strategic skill has been theorised and discussed intensively in academic circles for many years now.

Of course you cannot argue with someone who sees the whole world as painted brown, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us don’t see everything in multiple shades of colour. I don’t believe that a sound is just a sound (what’s a sound anyway, a collection of sine waves?) and I don’t believe that this is the way human beings listen in the context of appreciating music. I’m particularly surprised to find such a theory, if that’s what it is, associated with music which relies on representational material as raw material. I’d have thought that the richness of the listening experience depended largely on those very associations and resonances that the composer seeks to eliminate. Furthermore, I can’t for the life of me figure out how you would begin to avoid psychological resonances in listening to organised sound. After all, ears are not microphones – they’re (usually) attached to a brain which processes the incoming stream.

In addition, why bother to mention or attribute any significance to the source of the sounds used in a given piece? Unless of course you wanted to encourage psychological resonance through the complex processes of sound source recognition.

But please don’t just take my word for it. Decide for yourself  by listening to any music made with representational material, however mimetic or abstracted. Then figure out if you can detach yourself from narrative developments, referential associations of sounds with reality, and psychological resonances, and if you find this natural, enjoyable or positive in any way. Then have a think about what ’sound’ really is.

Next, go to the source of all the trouble, Pierre Schaeffer, and read his Traité des objets musicaux (Treatise on Musical Objects). After that have a good read of Michel Chion’s  theoretical writing on sound, most of which is available in English translation. Then have a look at Luke Windsor’s PhD thesis. Then at reception theory and then everything that’s been written in the last five years, which will take you forever. My enthusiasm for this topic stems from having been at it for about ten years and from having discussed and worked in depth with composers who have been at it for up to three decades, some going back to the source.

Why make so much of this? Well, if you want to be taken seriously, and many people do take Lopez’ work seriously, you have to be prepared for nitpickers like me who will scrutinise what you say about your work. The point I’m trying to make is that this whole discussion on the nature of sound, listening and the psychological or additional ‘baggage’ associated with sound has been researched intensively by some very clever people and has been top of the agenda in electroacoustic musicology for many years now. Hopefully one day, should our paths ever cross, I’ll be able to discuss all this with Francisco Lopez himself.

Yet, they are only sleeve notes. In appreciating good music, the theoretical stuff is a probably no more than a storm in a teacup so please don’t let any of it tarnish a beautifully composed album, one that I’m delighted to have in my collection. Vinyl is very special – as an objet d’art it makes the ubiquitous CD look and feel like a beermat. And strangely, to my ears it sound warmer, as if the substance itself carries more information.

All in all I congratulate ini itu on another excellent release.



review on Boomkat.

+ ALBUM OF THE WEEK (21 jan 2010)


Acclaimed electroacoustic sound artist Francisco López delivers what is perhaps his most compelling set of recordings yet, beautifully crafting field recordings made in Indonesia with dense, almost harrowing layers of sound that will blow your mind if you're into the work of Thomas Koner - just a very small vinyl run of 250 individually numbered copies of this have been made available for the world. The first side here is a hyperreal contextual collage, starting with an amniotic drone embedded with fragments of filigree metallic structures like a chrysalis shattering, before birthing us into an entirely alien psychoacoustic environment peopled by ghostly figures moving across, above and through the stereo field. The stunning second side is just a jawdropping exercise in acousmatic listening, divorcing the listener from the original source material of a gamelan performance, veiled in various filtering and processing techniques until what we receive is an assortment of spherical sub-bass shapes and hi-frequency elemental tones placed in a bewildering constellation of arrangement. We're encouraged to see with our ears, perceiving the morphing sounds as (sur)real objects within our own sound sphere, making for an intensely hallucinogenic experience. If you've been enraptured with the alternate sound worlds of Thomas Köner, Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker, David Toop or The Hafler Trio/Chris Watson, this album is as essential a listening experience as it gets - seriously, snap one of these up while you can.


        by  Frans de Waard
from Vital Weekly #711  (December 2009)


Every now and then Francisco Lopez is in for quite a surprise. While a vast majority of his work is called 'Untitled', followed by a number, there is a smaller part of his work which have a title. [...]

At the same time there is also a new solo Lopez LP, the first since 'Untitled #92' by Mego in 2000. You could think its strange to have his music on vinyl, but here he is also not silent. In the meantime I learned that Brussels based label Ini.Itu releases only LPs, always limited to 250 copies and there is always a link to Indonesia. Here Lopez worked with field recordings provided by Blindhead (who were also responsible for the first LP, and perhaps is also responsible for the label). Lopez works here in two directions. On the first side he creates a densely layered pattern of those field recordings, using loops of the material, which he seems to be continuously be filtering, thus altering and changing the sound material. Its not just calls from the rainforest, but also those of people and cities. Of course one could argue wether this sounds Indonesian at all, but its a very nice side. On the b-side he uses gamelan sounds. What he did to those gamelan sounds is very hard to say, but its a damn great piece. It seems like he has cut out all the attacks and uses the decaying sound which he has set around in loops and then puts on some extreme filtering, making the whole thing into a very gentle, almost ambient piece. Very musical, with some heavy microtonal shifts. One of the best Lopez pieces I heard. Two highly different Lopez releases and both are great. (FdW)