Alex Navarro’s latest work comes to you pressed on an ‘absolute black carbon’ CD in an otherwise-unfilled jewel case, a packaging design that really emphasises the ‘discness’ of the disc. The sonic content is a set of pieces built largely from brooding clicks, throbs and drones, quite effectively pulling the listener deep inside. Routes is self-released by the artist.
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8/10 Laurie Staff review, 18 February 2016
This man named Alexandre Navarro is the one behind the DISQ AN label, who’ve recently put music on little CD disc things for the likes of Darren Harper and Yamaoka. Ever the DIY enthusiast, he puts his latest album out as a self-released thing, keeping his own ego out of the labels that he’s created. Word.
On Routes, Navarro coaxes lethargic tones out of his guitar, stretching it out to the length of a mountain pass, sometimes foggy and restrained but in full blizzard mode at others (see: ‘Grand Espace’). At various points along the peaks and troughs, there are chopped, erratic clicks and blips, the garbled syllables of synthesisers. This is quite a weird contrast: lengthy formless things with momentary stutterings that you can hardly identify before they disappear into the void. The guitars and synths also stage a tug of war (tug of peace?) throughout the work, and of course, I’m gonna enjoy the bits where synths win - ‘L’Autre Dimension’ is a definite highlight.
Overall a great piece of guitar/synth droney hybrid.
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