Even the best folk singer-songwriters need an outlet to let loose and stray from their melodic norm. That’s the case for Pablo Dodero of Late Nite Howl, a polished, expertly composed folk outfit. For his latest project, he’s chosen a different route, one that pretty much shoves all expectations out the window. Les Temps Barbares is an outlet for Dodero to explore his love for noise and texture, especially electronic explorations involving synths rather than coherent songs.
For Memorias Ajenas, Pablo enlisted TV Vintage and former Vale Vergas artist Ulises Zarazúa to collaborate and help him track the pieces. He also tapped Alfredo Bojórquez, the free improv percussionist/drummer for straight edge hardcore band Cadenaxo. The results are harsh, minimalist digital soundscapes that expand and contract over time.
There’s a lot of low-end rumbling throughout all of Memorias Ajenas, as abstract electronics conjure terrains and forms. It’s not a soundtrack to anything in particular, but it’s quite evocative in its slow-paced explorations. While the atmospheres presented in these tracks are quite inhospitable, they never get too aggressive, and since most of the sounds are based on analog synths (or at least they emulate classic sounds), there’s always a sense of warmth in the collection.
Most of the tracks flow from one to the other seamlessly, creating a smooth, continuous listen. However, there’s a highlight in the form of “Tus Ojos Serán Dos Túneles,” a cut that separates itself from the rest of the album by offering a different kind of emotion and depth. The sound of feedback suggests a subtle melody, while a drum machine pulses a steady beat and dark synths phase in and out of the picture. The arrangement found in this track is more developed than the other tracks, which keep with the noise aesthetic and sound far more improvised. It’s one of the most accomplished moments of the release.
Sonido Inconsciente is releasing Memoria Ajenas digitally. It will also be available as a cassette via cult electronic noise label Chondritic Sound.