Sustain by Joaquín Gutiérrez Hadid

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Joaquín Gutiérrez Hadid
Sustain (Line; DL)

This three track full length by Argentine artist Joaquín Gutiérrez Hadid will be out on August 30th. It’s quite invisible at first, but el dorado slowly opens with a wee twinkle of electronic shimmer and a few pops. Clocking in with a running time of nearly twenty minutes the minimal work shakes to and fro like a dna sample being sequenced. The impenetrable atmosphere might be mistaken for sampling the near invisible wings of a hummingbird in flight. The teeny rat-a-tat comes off like the dichotomy between a mechanical signal and cicada hatching. This is certainly best via headphones.

cuarto oscuro which translates to dark room, offers minimalism through near virtual silent pauses, paired with low and deep drone, a sizzling and finely granular effects. It takes its paces in time and void. Though some may expect the unexpected to pop or emerge from the sidelines at any given moment, instead Hadid offers the ‘om’ of tuning forks and minute percussion.  The atmosphere bodes multiple transparencies playing on fore/background. No notes are sustained for any length of time, here the sounds have a sense of segregation, of stillness. The bowls or gong he uses are centering as they are deployed sparsely, at random. The silences are a perfect foil for the searing sizzle towards the end.

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Finally we pick up or continue that same crackling sear with higher volume on the more compacted conclusion, sustain. By combining microsounds with drone an atonal melody begins to materialize. I’m unsure if what I hear are various alarms or church bells, or some sort of modernized twist of experimental ambient music – or a fusion of the above. That said, the atmosphere formed is more or less an exploration than a meditation, though bits are presented ala noir cinema-in-progress. I can almost sense the passage of ‘time’ here – as if the awareness of it is fleeting, fading, fast. And….time’s up.

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