A Journal Of The Dark Arts
If so, you may be familiar with the gelatinous sound of digital dither – strange, glooping audio artifacts, the sonic equivalent of MS Paint pixel art, in shades of chartreuse and fuchsia, or the RGB equivalent.
These artifacts are nearly always incidental, accidental; very rarely on purpose. As such, i have kind of a loathing for these bacterial ear worms, as they get in the way of whatever archaic audio i’m digging at the moment.
Dias, from the Brazilian sound artist Cassio Figueiredo manipulates these glitches, and makes them work to his advantage. The end result is sort of like looking in on a net-stream of a CCTV of an abandoned house, or one existing in an alternate dimension.
As you undoubtedly know, if you’ve spent any time on these pages, we’re huge fans of music that seems rooted in a sense of place, from Robin The Fog’s ghostly evocations of the Bush House building, former house of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, to the spectral decay of Isobel Ccircle~’s The House In Harbour Park.
I like to think that if Jandek were just beginning today, he’d be making music like this; creepy, creeping, crepuscular, insular, seeming to exist in a dimension of its own. I was somewhat led to this conclusion by the striking black & white album art, but it’s as good of a framing as any.
Dias is made up of one long track, clocking in at 24 minutes, with phantom voices, rumbles, and crackles dropping in and out of the digital spray.
Dias was created by Figueiredo with the barest of electronic equipment, very little money, or musical training, which is a good thing. Hot on the tail of yesterday’s post about Tod Dockstader, and his concept of “organized sound”, this is most appropriate, as Figueiredo moves the sounds in and out, with a logic of its own, a kind of dream physics. Droplets of water plummet towards the ceiling, while denizens age backward. This might be the sound of the Black Lodge, if it were located in some rundown shack, next to a highway on-ramp.
I honestly don’t remember how i came across Dias, but i’m glad i did. I was first struck by the crisp, monochromatic album art, and left a comment for the young composer. He was quite happy for the connection, and i spent one lonely, desolate Friday evening chatting with Figeuiredo through the internets, while simultaneously having a conversation with another friend about dreams of cities made of ash, and dog’s heads impaled on spikes.
This is the kind of randomness this sound art inspires. Connection, friendship, inspiration, mixed with menace, poverty, isolation, and out-and-out disorientation of the senses.
Figueiredo’s just getting started, but you can expect his star to rise. Stunning presentation, interesting ideas presented in a vocabulary of his own, a dedication to art, and a charming personality will get you everywhere in this world. Or at least it will in the forest.
Dias is available as a pay-what-you-want download from Bandcamp.