Make Visible The Ghosts by Aki Onda & Paul Clipson

Aki Onda & Paul Clipson | Make Visible The Ghosts
audioMER. (LP)

*TAKATAKATAKAKTAKATAKA* Shadow rakes across the pavement starts in medias res, unexpectedly, without any introduction and we are violently thrown into a hectic sonic situation where pulsing sounds, and deep dark drones manifest their presence in a sinister way.


We are immediately acquainted with the fact that we are witnessing something powerful and sublime, whose power and size feels beyond our reach and understanding, where different planes of speed and movement create a charming, shapeshifting dance of densities. Reverberant strokes, slow evolving masses and the frenetic speed of the electromagnetic noises are overwhelming, claustrophobic, and squeeze the head of the listener into an altered state of being.

Make Visible The Ghosts is a collaborative work between Aki Onda, who composed the music, and the visual artist and filmmaker Paul Clipson, who passed away in 2018. The two artists have had a long and well established collaboration, including live A/V performances, but mostly an intimate and deep human link that triggered conversations and reflection about their aesthetic taste, resulting into very complex methodologies for the concept of their works.

The compositional work continues introducing noisier elements, the sounds become dirty, affording anti-aesthetical elements, cumbersome ones, competing for space in the mix and blending, one into another, resulting in big sound walls that change fast and relentlessly, like clouds on a windy day, and in which the different objects almost fight for supremacy.

Onda’s typical sound maximalism logic is unfolded in different ways all throughout the record, might it be with the aid of voices and concrete sounds like in Deep Black Degrees, where the acidity of the Hammond Organ sounds like a heavy dreamscape that holds a vintage connection with the lysergic atmospheres of the seventies, or with the use of synth packed dense sauce like in Palm Held Out For Us To Read.

The most interesting aspect of this album is the way Aki Onda manages to keep the level of tension always very very high, the sense of unexpectedness, the constant changes and the well-structured morphing gestures turn Make Visible The Ghosts into an heavy gem that requires a good time and several listening sessions before being fully appreciated, but rewards the listener with a very intense experience.

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