Pablo Díaz - Planos de estratificaci​ó​n

Released: April 24

Upon first listen, I admired the synthetic textures and the haunting ambiance that Díaz managed to created on this album, especially in regard to the level of depth these tones had and the intricate layering of them. Then I went back for another listen and discovered that these textures are not synthetic at all. Rather, they were recorded from a number of different acoustics improvised instruments, as I should have guessed by the names of the tracks. The arrangement of the recordings is particularly striking considering that the only technique used in the recording was simple overdubs. From what I can gather, very little rearranging or editing was done to the original recordings yet the arrangements feel very tight, especially on the more percussive tracks. 

The album starts out with "platillos" which I can only assume is made from resonant recordings of ceramic plates. The multiple layers of sound is quite busy as there are several tones all stacked on top on one another, but it follows a very steady path of building up to this as new tones are brought in and fade away gently as the track goes on. The result of all of this layering is hard to describe as it feels a bit unnerving and slightly horror movie soundtrack adjacent, but I don't believe this was exactly the intent and is likely something that my mind is projecting on to it. The next track feels like much more of a tension-building exercise, which feels appropriate as the name translates roughly to ropes. Improvised strings that are less tonal and more percussive, sounding as though they are loosely slapped and given room to bounce at a quick but not overbearing pace.

The variety of textures, tones, tempos, and tension that Díaz creates throughout the album is quite impressive given that he chose to specifically limit himself in his approaches to sound design. With the titles being what they are, you many thing you are able to predict what they will sound like. And to some extent this is true, as on "canicas," or marbles. The rattling sound of the marbles rolling around gently at first is what I expected, but Díaz is especially good at squeezing a full range of sounds from this one rather simple seeming one. The swirling sensation this track gives is intense, more so as the deeper and more bass-like tones of the container come more to the forefront. It all combines for a hypnotic, but also slightly abrasive listening experience. 



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