steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Israel M

"Nareah" CD


Genre: experimental

Zapopan, Mexico

October 2009

Mexico's Israel Martinez constructs sparse yet rich compositions out of varied textures, drawing upon field recordings, acoustic instrumentation, and electronic sounds. Nareah is his first release on the Aagoo imprint, as well as the first album of his that I've encountered, and it certainly leaves an impression.

The record starts off auspiciously enough with two textural compositions - industrial noise-drone on opener "Niza," and pretty, Fennesz-esque digital crackle on "Lirbha." But it's the fifteen minute "Mitah" that really kicks things off assuredly. Commencing with a brooding piano melody, it gradually builds a tense, cinematic infrastructure around horns, crashing percussion, and noise, only to slowly transform and build into a dense, electric drone. The composition is gradual, but it evokes intense imagery - I envisaged a sort of menacing, Metropolis-esque cityscape.

Perhaps the most powerful composition here is the droning "Dunhia," which layers post-rock influenced electric guitar and bass over an electronic hum. As on "Mitah," this musical orderliness eventually gives way to a overwhelmingly growing wall of noise. Martinez seems especially interested in destructing or at least dismantling those elements of music that make it accessible - paradoxically leading the listener to discover the beauty in noise. Nowhere is this more evident than on "Riaiah," which gradually transforms an elegant, naturalistic drone into mechanical abrasion. The message is that both realms of sound can be musical, and that our inherent aversion to noise may prevent us from perceiving the beauty in certain avenues of sound. In driving home this revelation, Nareah achieves what few experimental albums manage to.

israel m's myspace


Michael Tau

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]