Thelmo Cristovam & Fernando S. Torres [Review]
4 Aug 08 - CDr, Review
I suppose I could have gone to the Dim website or one of the other three cyberplaces listed on the oversized sleeve of this self-titled collaboration to find out, for my records, just who exactly are Thelmo Cristovam & Fernando S. Torres, but then that would resemble work and I’m on summer vacation. Vacation. Instead, I will tell you about the marvelous excursions of Cristovam & Torres, a mysterious duo no doubt about it.
The compact disc split into two suggestively titled tracks “A:23’50”” and “B: 26’36”” (suggesting, or rather screaming from this single-sided, extended-play format that a vinyl rerelease would be oh-so apropos), with an additional album’s worth of material embedded in the disc’s “enhanced” genetics – an additional pair of tracks similar in duration and content to the purely-audio portions (which will not be covered here).
And how might I describe this content? A “Real-time” composition (i.e. improvised?), both tracks were set live to tape, made with primary elements of trumpet, saxophone, and flute, and transmogrified through piezo crystal, processing, and an “air-duster”.
Hardly minimal, these compositions come richly illustrated in depth and gesture, yet for their duration, appear at first threadbare, with a procession of mostly soloistic entries resonating in a shrouded region of creative space – making this a likely candidate for Extreme’s current roster of post-ECM avant-garde experimentalists, most notably the Antripodean series of Aussie locals like Robert Vincs and Marc Hannaford. The waking reality of these live tracks is dizzied, as the processing of the instrumental sounds ranges wildly from total disfiguration to entire abstinence.
When left to present its own nude body in the first movement, the saxophone stretches and skronks against the air as if it were the skin of a balloon, appearing counter moments of subtle dread as a groundfault of bass churn quietly underneath. In the second, this tremor becomes a thick chord of slithering reverb ala Hive Mind’s ‘Sand Beasts’, and swelling form which absorbs the entropic sounds around it as it fills both channels; in this predacious state, the drone hints at rough contours of the shapes within - though almost imperceptibly so – maintaining its domination through increasing volume.
In DVD clamshells with cardstock inserts, hand-numbered to paltry 33 copies.
(Dim Records CDr HERE)