En/Jefre-Cantu Ledesma: split tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2012)

February 24, 2013 at 2:22 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

En/Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: split tape

En/Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: split tape

I’m going to be reviewing a lot of Constellation Tatsu releases because they send me download promos of everything they release and I have a lot of them stored up and they’re all really good. This one’s a split between two artists who released albums I really liked, En’s album being Already Gone on Students Of Decay, and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s being the unbelievably great Love Is A Stream on Type in 2010. On this tape, En take up an entire side of the tape with a nearly half-hour composition called “Blood”. It’s a slowly evolving work, beginning quietly, and slowly fading in soft static along with ethereal guitar. Some beautiful chiming digital tones occur, and the piece shifts to swelling string drones. Eventually a gently throbbing bass pulse emerges, not really guiding a rhythm but just sort of gently bobbing along with the harmonium-sounding drone and a few washes of guitar or synth (can’t really tell which). The second side is Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s “Blood Variations”, and if En’s “Blood” is like blood softly running through a body and keeping it alive, Jefre’s interpretation is closer to bloody violence. The first variation is a minute and a half long and takes En’s drones and mixes in waves of hissing static, but the second variation is 18 minutes, and starts out like a darker, minimal variation on the first half of En’s “Blood”, but for the last 5 minutes adds the type of searing yet stunningly gorgeous noise that Jefre is so skilled at. Not quite as scorched-earth as Love Is A Stream, but it works in waves of brittle static and distortion to the crystalline tones of En’s piece, not smothering them in distortion but enhancing them.

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