Alejandro T. Acierto

http://music.promnightrecords.com/album/amid-these-traces

Do musicians act like children?  To avoid arguing for/against the agency of Play in supra-natural affairs, let’s just go with: hopefully.

There is no way around it.  Music demands a childlike wonder, infantile even.  Hopeless curiosity, sponge-like features; thumb, larynx, tongue, tits.  Close yourself off from physical/emotional saturation and at best you’ll be regressing in your Art.  To make work that imbibes in mastery and mystification requires a resurrection of childhood in daily practice.  So perhaps a better question is:  do musicians act like monks?

I hear this record as an invocation of childhood, which is the same but different.  There is no concise definition of the musician-as-child here.  Acierto may be reliving a childhood run in with a tree but this is obscurely determined.  We hear stages of existence. The rates of change over the course of one’s life, which can only be understood through the eyes and ears of a child.  Dumbfounded.  Resounded.

So you have moments of labor.  A difficulty breathing, forced incision and projectile battle. You have moments of jabber, babble and clamour of pre-speech.  Then you have naps, preliminary dreams.  Long breaths that hold out hope for world consumption, everlasting youth.  And then more labor.  A spitting at the enemy, (which is you).  You grow hair in all the wrong places.  You start to smell if you don’t shower.  You start to fear things; drowning, fucking.  We are never sure if it’s going to “be ok” at any point of this record’s trajectory.  (When I was ten I choked on a mozzarella cheese stick in a moving car and had to pull the cheese out of my throat.  I recalled this during the 9th track and struggled to ditch the image afterwards).

The consistent thread throughout these sonic life lessons is excitement.  Even while engaged in windows of self-massacre there is a musician discovering music for the first time.  Maybe he’s offered inordinate degrees of compositional thought to the record’s synthetic processes.  If so the analysis doesn’t translate.  Aural captchas designate keys and valves pressed over and over in novelty.  Tell the kid to stop playing and come inside and he’ll rebel and squeeze all the toothpaste onto your bed.  (That’s here too, fits you can’t shake till well within your forties).

Then there’s the last track.  It implicates a different course.  We wane embryonic.  There is peace and added sound.  Not our own.  And further back still.  Jelly, primordial crud. Iodine and dinosaurs that never stopped eating.  To this day.


Amid these traces was released on Prom Night.  A label well worth it’s viscera in playful wisdom.  

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