Covered in Diamonds and Jewels – Self-Titled (Fabrica Records, 2010)

Posted in Covered in Diamonds and Jewels, Fabrica Records by HOLIDAYS on September 30, 2010

Being a big fan of the last Fabrica release from Luciernaga, I’m very please to be reviewing the most recent release, Covered in Diamonds and Jewels. Consisting of a total of 12 tracks on a C47 (with 6 on each side), the B-side is actually composed of the same 6 tracks from the A-side, but played in reverse. While conceptually played out, it works, as I’ll get to soon.

Just as the Luciernaga tape, I’d like to describe it as ambient music, but with this one in particular, there’s certainly a lot more going on that spans it throughout various genres. Each track is very much alike in instrumentation- blown out bass lines topped with some clean, more soothing guitar work  as well as some other hints of noise and captured dialog thrown into the mix. While overall it’s not exactly warm and relaxing, it certainly carries a nice sobering warmth. As I said for the B-side, it’s a well played out concept that I usually skip over, but in regards to this specific recording, it works. While I find most reverse recordings a bit stressful to listen to, at a nice low volume, I get that same feeling as the first side, from a different and lovely perspective.

The artwork is pretty peculiar- ostriches, money, plants(?)- none of it really means anything to me, but it’s good for a an interesting glance. The tape includes an insert with all the track listings, even going into the reverse side where all the tracks are listed in backwards type, which is a nice touch. While I don’t feel any more elegant after listening to this tape, it’s definitely an enjoyable one. I’m never quite sure who to recommend tapes like these to though- it’s not really noise, it’s not too ambient, etc. Either way, it’s excellent. I’m glad to see Fabrica with new output, and I’ll certainly be looking forward to future entries to their catalog.

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Luciernaga – Life Passes Away Like Idle Chatter (Fabrica, 2010)

Posted in Fabrica Records, Luciernaga by HOLIDAYS on May 21, 2010

Prior to getting this tape, I had never heard of Octavio Paz– a Mexican poet whose words are printed on the short half of the j-card. They’re apparently an excerpt from a lengthy poem entitled “Entre la Piedra y la Flor“, translating to “Between the Rock and the Flower”, reading…

Dame, llama invisible, espada fria (Dame invisible flame, sword cold)
tu persistente cólera,
(your persistent anger)
para acabar con todo,
(to eliminate all)
oh mundo seco,
(O world dry)
oh mundo desangrado,
(O world bled)
para acabar con todo.
(to end it all)

Being fairly existential words, the music backs them up fairly well. While not being too overly cold or dark, “…Idle Chatter” presents some well composed layers of guitar and synth sounds with the occasional sampled dialogue (none of which sounded very decipherable) that promotes a listen that may fair well on the right occasion. I made the right decision after reading the description of “cold/dark” to toss it in the glove compartment of my car and save it for an extended late night drive home, which for me was the perfect time to let these sounds sink it. I’ve always considered this time of night while transit to be the time in which I’m most vulnerable to music, which I chose to fill with darker sounds.  While indeed being cold and dark, I still sense there being lots of emotion and hope on this tape, especially on the seventh track, “Oscillating in Rhythmic Eternity,” where the guitar work is quite pleasant, but moments such as this are sparse, leaving most of the tape rather dreary.

“…Idle Chatter” is most likely not a tape to put under your pillow at night for pleasant dreams, but it’s certainly good enough to warrant additional hearings. It’s definitely an impressive first entry to the new Fabrica Records, packaged in standard cassette case with additional printed material containing more information about the release.

I’d recommend you do as I did- get it and find the time in your life in which it may fit. Though, with a name like “Luciernaga” (translating to “Firefly” in English), it’s clear there’s no better time to hear this than at night.

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