Turbulently logical as always, Ferran Fages and Alfredo Costa Monteiro organize a palette of noises generated by “feedback mixing board, pickups and objects on electric guitar” brilliantly, the resulting concoction qualifying more as composition than improvisation given the level of intricacy of its spontaneous design. The “interplay” has reached a point of reciprocal perceptiveness and instant reaction, warranting a rational temperament that’s often lacking in the work of other exponents of the extreme manipulation party. Fages and Costa Monteiro have been playing together for a very long time, and this bond is clearly perceptible. The music they present in Noranta Graus A L’Esquerra (Catalan for “Ninety Degrees To The Left”) definitely corresponds to the most mature that Cremaster have released to date, gifted with the same animated zest driving their research for new types of acoustic disintegration, yet devoid of that ear-torturing magniloquence exalted by the avant-garde (ha!) regime hyping theoretically radical “creative” phenomena.
The work is complex, sharp and hard-hitting, following a dynamic arc of events that starts at the extremities of auditory tolerance (careful with these frequencies when wearing headphones) and gradually shifts the mass towards places where the skilled monster even enjoys some moment of tranquillity. It’s there that one (barely) notices the existence of tiny purrs and infinitesimal hisses, realizing that the calmness is just momentary before the action resumes. The duo constructs a whole network of interconnected idioms, staying in the realms of lucidity without sounding domesticated. The crunchy discharges that might appear as excruciating at the beginning become a warmly greeted presence with subsequent listens, and trained brains will receive the following dispatches without problems, fusing crackles, rustles, munches and hums in a kinship with the physical equipment they manage. There’s nothing aberrant in this smartly dissentient record, terminated by the artists via the squeezing of the last droplets of the thinnest micro-feedback you can imagine, until silence falls. The lingering buzzing is now coming from the insides of your head.