Artist: Vlisa
Title: Diary Of Lonely Girl
Release Date: June 2013
Catalog No: FNL013
Label: Fuga Discos
Release Page: fugadiscos

I’m breaking my own rules by reviewing this release. ¬†Normally I state that I will only review a release if it is clearly marked as having a Creative Commons license. ¬†I was tripped up when I reviewed Japanese Rivers¬†because it was out under what I could best describe as a “free music” license. ¬†That is, neither the artist or the netlabel (Fuga Discos) chose to mark the release with a copyright mark, much less a Creative Commons license.

That puts me in a fairly difficult position, but now that I understand a bit more about the artist I think it’s fair to review this work.¬†Here’s a bit of background from the Vlisa website and the liner notes for¬†Diary of Lonely Girl:

Vlisa was¬†Ramiro De La Cruz Larrain and Alejandro Amo. ¬†When they met, they discovered a mutual interest in “electronics, artificial intelligence and freak machines…” (NOTE: I modified this quote to try to fix the translation from Spanish.) ¬†Initially they create two projects: “Microesfera” for IDM/techno/dance music, and Vlisa for ambient/experimental music. ¬†At first they experimented in front of live audiences, playing many “underground” and “art” shows. ¬†This lead to the self publication of their first release “Re-Construction” in 2002. In 2003 and 2007 they participated in a Barcelona-Argentina streaming event with many other artists. ¬†They appeared on a compilation released from these streaming events. ¬†In 2010 with the release of¬†Striped Movies on the Sudamericaelectronic label, Alejandro Amo decided to part ways with Ramiro De La Cruz Larrain musically. ¬†And now this year, Ramiro has released both¬†Japanese Rivers and¬†Diary Of Lonely Girl¬†under the name Vlisa on Fuga Discos.

So, what I am taking from this history is that Ramiro is more interested in getting his music out to a large audience and getting it heard. ¬†Publishing his releases through multiple channels (Fuga Discos, BandCamp, Reverb Nation, and MySpace). He doesn’t appear to be worried about copyright or licensing as much as he is about audience. ¬†Hence my description of the license as “free music” which (in this case) I equate to a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No¬†Derivatives¬†license. (IE, we can download and listen to the release, we can even share it with others, however we cannot make any¬†derivative¬†works or use it in a commercial setting without clearance from Ramiro, and all credit goes to Vlisa.)

So, with this in mind, I can say that this is a release that is totally worth downloading.  If you enjoyed Japanese Rivers even slightly, you will want to listen to this work.  Unlike Japanese Rivers, this release uses more shaped white noise as integral part of several of the tracks, along with strings, flute and metallic sounds.

For example, the track Eternal Days is enchanting with it’s primary acoustic guitar / viola sounding string sequence, wrapped in an echoing field with an intertwining pipe organ flute lead sound. ¬†The following track,¬†Secret History¬†wraps a completely different set of textures with bowed¬†metallic¬†chimes, and vocal inserts that provide a slight break to the flow.

Each track uses different textures and structures; building soundscapes to represent an image, scene or theme from the “Diary” of the title. ¬†However, the pieces are uniform in their hollow, searching, and haunting sound. ¬†It is the range of these pictorial soundscapes that defines Ramiro’s work as both mature and exploring, while still being very accessible.

This is another release from Vlisa that I cannot recommend highly enough for the vision and artistic value, with the reservation that there is no clear copyright or license on the release.

Vlisa: Diary Of Lonely Girl




Posted by George De Bruin