Francisco López: Untitled #123

Announcing our second and latest release with Madrid, Spain’s Francisco López. “Untitled #123” follows the very successful “Untitled #104”, his death metal release, which appeared on Alien8 Recordings just over a year ago.

While “Untitled #123” is devoid of any connection to metal, it has the same power and intense climaxes found in “Untitled #104” and in Lopez’s live performances.

This latest outing by Spain’s most prolific experimental artist was prepared with sounds recorded in Grain Silo #5, in Montreal, Quebec. Last year the experimental duo known as [the user] began the Silophone project, transforming an abandoned grain silo into a gigantic instrument. The project ran for a year and artists from around the world were invited to Montreal to use the instrument. Participants included Aube, Carsten Nicolai, Martin Tetreault, [the user], Jaap Blonk and many others. Without question the year’s highlight was the live performance by Francisco Lopez that took place in an abandoned foundry with telephone links to the Silophone. “Untitled #123” is not simply a recording of Lopez’s live performance using the Silophone; the piece uses source material that was harvested in Silo #5 and then further developed at the Centre Création Musicale Iannis Xenakis in Paris, France.

“Untitled #123” starts off with a minute of silence, forcing the listener to pay close attention, like on many of Lopez’ recordings. Incredibly subtle changes and fluctuations in volume and body begin to take place. The piece begins to display the Silophone sounds more clearly at the 10-minute mark, dark metallic resonation that feels strangely gothic. This continues until sharp piercing slices of mechanical sounds cut in an out of the piece every few seconds (imagine being subjected to giant blasts of machinery). This continues until the 19-minute mark where all audible sounds dissolve and all that is left is some of the most demanding low-end ambiance one is likely to experience. Later, sounds begin to take shape again and if you were not aware of the sound source you would swear this was the soundtrack to a very dark and frightening place. At the 43-minute mark, with the power constantly mounting your heart pounding, trembling with fear, you wonder what lies ahead. You imagine being in absolute darkness and something incredibly loud, a mechanical drone is approaching and you have absolutely no idea of what it could be. Finally after an incredible 14-minute climax the piece falls into near silence. For the next 8 minutes the piece continues with just a murmur of sound deep below the surface, is it really that low? Are your ears just not picking up sound due to what has just transpired? The end result is an incredibly unique listening experience that bears many of the qualities of the stunning concerts of Francisco Lopez.

As far as we are concerned Francisco Lopez is the reigning king of what is being marketed as lowercase sound and we are incredibly delighted to be documenting another one of his glorious achievements.

Packaged as one might expect at this point, slimline jewel case with next to no artwork. There is a photo of the Silo where the sounds were originally harvested accompanying “Untitled #123”.

Release date: February 19, 2002

Label: Alien8 Recordings

Album cover for Untitled #123 by Francisco López

Photograph of Francisco López

More info on Francisco López