issue 15 :: July 2008

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REVIEW: Alfredo Costa Monteiro

“Épicycle” CD [Etude]

reviewed by Josh Ronsen

(a) Epicycle is a single thirty-eight minute tour-de-force of electro-acoustic processing. The only source material, Monteiro’s voice, receives radical changes into explosions of pink noise, tiny drones, what sounds like faint waves of electricity. So altered is the voice, had I not known from the brief liner notes, I would have have guessed the source material anything but the human voice. A sound artist of various stripes and projects, Monteiro proves himself an excellent sound sculptor, not only of individual sounds, but also layering different types of sounds together.
(b) At one point a rich, metallic drone provides cover for a lo fidelity crunch that repeats irregularly, slowly evolving to a nearly periodic rumble of crunches. Loud, ear cleaning passages interrupt the subtlest of noises. At times it sounds like being stuck in a wind tunnel. Epicycle has width, depth, dynamics and vitality. Born in Portugal, Monteiro now works in Barcelona, playing prepared guitar, accordion, turntables and electronics, as well as involvement in sound and visual art.
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