Francisco Meirino’s Surrender, Render, End is a simmering, flickering mass of careful sound: musique concréte, electro-acoustic improvisation and a touch of noise all come to mind. This Swiss sound dude has a tight attention to detail and potent pallette of textures, and it all comes together here. Out on The Helen Scarsdale Agency
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- Surrender, Render, End by Francisco Meirino
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The Helen Scarsdale Agency are your Year 9 geography school trip. Their releases are the moments when it rained, where you clambered over rocks and got mud stuck, quite irreversibly, to your shoes. Sometimes they’re the miserable outdoor bits of teenage field work; at other times they’re the relaxing bus trip back. Whatever the case, Jim Haynes’ drone imprint feels like one long interaction, positive or reproaching, with the ground itself.
‘Surrender, Render, End’, the beautifully titled record from Francisco Meirino, is another of the label’s releases that treats the earth and dirt as music. Our Ant described Kate Carr’s record as one in which rocks made their own music; this dye-in-the-wool electroacoustic record sounds like machinery reaching for melody, with self-perpetuated whirring sounds and quiet industrial field recordings coalescing into a narrative of noise and ambience. Opener “Surrender” keeps a motif bleating as if it were an isolated chord, while tape hisses and loops seem to converse. Eventually the piece jumps onto a shrill, unspeakably loud bout of recorded noise that almost sounds like a soprano vocal. Using amplification on concrete sound, Meirino gives inanimate objects their own melodramas.
Sinking into this record is its own secret thrill. At times the sounds, still and meditative, turn towards a ferocious and abrupt change in proceedings, while at others the deep contact amplification seems to dig up calm natural sounds that have long been buried: on “render”, the backdrop is so full against the tide of chirps and hisses in the foreground that you feel as if you’re existing both above water and deep under it. Using modular patches and field recordings, Meirino seems to have given detail to sounds we’d never have been able to relate from cause to effect. It’s a beguiling record that gives the most microscopic sound its moment.
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