Artist: Pablo Ribot
Release Date: 01-Oct-2013
Genre: Avant-Garde Glitch Noise
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Nostress Netlabel
Earlier this week I wrote a review on Basic Income Earth Network, who take a rather unique approach to vocal works that is a little more detached from the routine processes of making music by their use of improvisation and post-production mixing / remixing. The results were uniquely approachable experimental works bordering on the avant-garde. Pablo Ribot reaches into similar experimental territory, but from a completely different direction.
Instead manipulating pre-recorded music into forms and structures that one can recognize, Ribot takes the approach of breaking down his pieces into unique elements: the colors, stresses, harmony, noises, etc. While some of the compositions take on the more traditional forms we are used to hearing, others have an almost static nature that at first appears to be little more than organized chaos.
But, then there is time for a closer listen, upon which one realizes that the elements in these “noise” pieces aren’t all that removed from the more familiar ambient pieces. It’s just that the elements are different, and their relationships are different, and yet there is still a familiarity that lurks in the depth of the compositions.
The opening piece of this recording ‘los Anthonitas de lonesco’ sounds like a piece of robotic machine music. Clanging metallic elements provide rhythmic counterpoint to a drone of machine hums and cycles. The second track, ‘bosque circular’ sounds like a piece of new age ambient jazz with a wandering bass line, and loose drum rhythms set against an organ drone. While the third track, ‘criatura’ sounds like your sound card is broken… Literally, I stopped the piece the first couple of times I listened to it because I needed to make certain something wasn’t wrong with my computer. (And this is saying something, as it sounds like a song, but not a song in a form that you would normally recognize it.)
It’s this kind of variation from track to track that Ribot is exploring. All the tracks are muiscal, and all of them are related. And yet, all of them are different and unique, to the point of sounding foreign and nearly un-relatable.
And that’s where the interest lies in this recording. It’s one of the things that I strive to find when I am listening to music: the ways in which all music relates to all other music. It doesn’t make a difference what the form or genre is. It’s one of the reasons that I can play a piece of black metal and follow it with a Bach Concerto, followed by a Schoenberg or Stockhausen composition.
There is a relationship, we just have to tune our ears to hear it. Pablo Ribot is challenging his listeners to do the same, and doing it within the cohesive structure of ‘Eter’.
And, this is one of the strengths of the Netlabel world. It is highly unlikely that this kind of work could find its way into the world of the major labels. But with the Netlabel world we have much more space for artists to allow themselves the space to experiment, and find an audience that is willing to follow where they are going. It is recordings like ‘Eter’ that attracted me to the Netlabel world in the first place, and I am happy to have Nostress releasing such fine works as this.