Rubén D’Hers | Bolero Transparente
Vertical Music (CS/DL)
Off the new Milan-based label comes the first of an interesting, fresh tape series. This is Rubén D’Hers‘ Bolero Transparente (recorded in Berlin). In three tracks this sound-sculpting builder of installation-based musical settings offers a pensive, chord-driven work. Romantic Chord Puzzle glows in elongated and warped reverb. It’s a guitar and loudspeaker in a room, fairly stripped down for an artist who usually creates complex environments, however the sound is one of depth and stoic minimalism at first.
I was fascinated to hear his inspiration for this was Bolero songs from the 1970s, the era in which I grew up as an adolescent. I remember here in the States at the time people would frequently listen to such, as well as Italian love songs, Polka and Polynesian luau music alongside classic rock without batting an ear. D’Hers interpretation, of course, is as outsider as it gets – without the sappy flair of those days, without the slick hair, the puce and lavender coloration. Instead his sound blends a sense of patience and anticipation.
More peculiar is the irradiated Disipador de Tensión: buzz, strum and awkwardly poker-faced amidst a background of industrialism and general crowd noise.It’s as though there are competing noises, neither of which is truly being heard, but they trudge forward against the grain.
And when the title track begins a wave of silence parts to the shadow of a previously played chord. There’s a hollow breath, and blank space built-into his sudden string movements, and his is a series of these twangs, like dripping color on a naked linen surface, and how that color starts off quite vivid and slowly varies and fades as it moves on its own. This record seems to be about finding oneself, as in growing from a family tree as a separate branch altogether, forming a whole new something in the process. The sustained drone from what he plays, when it lingers, casts a tall shadow.
This is most definitely not for all tastes and listeners, especially those only casually inclined who may decide this a bit frustrating in its pace and timing. It even had me wanting to throw on an old Stooges record by the final passage, alas I managed to find something strangely lulling about the tone here. However this is no simple endurance test, its minimal improvisation that poses an intimate relationship with naked notes, left transparent. Edition of 100.