Alfredo Costa Monteiro + Ben Owen – Frêle à Vide


CD – Contour Editions

Harsh frequencies, superimposed in layers, obtained thanks to the feedback of a Walkman and emissions produced using short and medium-wave radios. These are some of the techniques employed by Alfredo Costa Monteiro and Ben Owen in “Frêle À Vide”, a cooperative project in which several microphones, mixers, a turntable arm and several self-built accessories come together, alongside an operational amplifier (a tool with which you can build electronic circuits that can carry out lots of mathematical operations: the sum, the subtraction, the derived, the integral, the computation of logarithms and anti-logarithms). The synthetic pulses, drones and background hum have been mixed and juxtaposed, giving rise to an overall climax, unstable yet dense, continuous, almost always in crescendo during all four extended compositions (between six and eighteen minutes). The two investigators don’t shy away from what we could define as a sidereal setting – full of wavering buzzes and static sound emergencies; the sounds of boiling and evaporation. Here we find attention paid to the quality of the sound concatenations in the sustainability of the volumes, alternating between full and empty. The sounds are always in precarious balance for the lack of any harmonic or melodic reference – pure vibrational matter, anti-symmetric combinations expressed in the guise of pure energy, crossing particular frequency ranges, towards which it’s still possible to tune in.