Juanjo Palacios – Portuario on Audiotalaia
Audiotalaia are a netlabel that I’ve been meaning to delve deeper into that I have afforded myself time to. Based solely on their releasing of Sven Swift’s mixtape Underwater Is A Place To Be Alone back in 2008 which is one of my favourite mixes from Sven and indeed of a drone ambience nature.
Portuario is their 1st release for 2011 and their 37th in their catalogue. Juanjo Palacios is not a name I’m familiar with but one who’s production work I am enjoying based on this EP. This is one of those works that bridges the gap between soundscape and ambient.
Rozamiento is difficult to describe; a foreboding drone is supported by metallic creaking and splashing water. It’s like drowning a robotic and yet organic conscious being of some description. Atraque is cold, crunchy and at times quite alien. The over arcing synths are, if you let them, quite twisted. Contenedor is an easier listen than the 2 previous tracks. It’s more drone than abstraction, still very cold and metallic to touch. Pantalán finishes the EP off in suitable style. Beginning as a long industrial drone with dark lower tones building into it. Water is a big part of this track and is used in such a way as to imply movement by something through it. The metallic chains make me thing of Charon, the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.
Palacios defines himself as a phonographer and sound artist and he has been involved in many projects regarding Soundscapism. He combines the materials and soundscapes that he captures on field trips with processed drones and ambient textures. Palacios uses soundscapes as textures and elements to transport certain sonorities to specific places. This time, with Portuario, the issue its a Harbour (Musel Harbour in Gijón, North of Spain). The usage of both soundscapes and field recordings provide the release with a bast palette of sound structures that can be heard as abstracted soundscapes, or auditory schematisations of the sound of a shore.
Juanjo Palacios – Rozamiento
Juanjo Palacios – Atraque
Juanjo Palacios – Contenedor
Juanjo Palacios – Pantalán