Out Now: Francisco López "Amarok" GM007 Glacial Movements

Started by GLACIAL MOVEMENTS, February 19, 2010, 01:57:52 AM

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1. Amarok (64:07)

All sound material has been created at mobile messor by Francisco López (Madrid, Murcia, Riga, Belgrade, Tel Aviv,
Amsterdam), 2007-2009 © francisco lópez 2009
A Glacial Movements Records release, February 2010.All rights reserved.
Artist: Francisco López
Title: Amarok
Cat. number: GM007
Barcode: 08033959880036
Format: CD digipack
Cover Photo: Bjarne Riesto
Art Direction/Layout: Keep Adding

Francisco López is known all over the world as one of the main figures of all time experimental music. He performed in hundreds lives, projects and sound-sets in 60 countries of 5 continents and his huge discography has been released by more than 200 labels all over the world. His musical universe moves from human-ear limits to the deepest abysses of sonorous power and it is mostly composed of field recordings caught along the wildest areas of Earth or between the sounds of industrial world.
For "Amarok" composition two years of hard work have been employed using sounds and processed field
recordings. It's a unequalled conceptual soundscape in this artist's huge discography and it perfectly joins to Glacial Movements aesthetics. After a few seconds from the track beginning we are dip into an arctic trip which lasts more than an hour and in which tangled weavings in a masterly fashion handled by the Spanish artist appear, develop and dissolve. Gusts of arctic wind, the Amarok's wheezing breath  (Amarok is the name of a gigantic wolf in Inuit mythology)  and the sense of loss in the polar night are only some of the sensations that this cryogenic hallucinatory acustic is able to evoke.
"Amarok is probably one of the more isolationist and spookiest work I've ever done" Francisco López,march 2009


drone on

I listened today to two great GM discs, "Cloudlands" and "An Aerial View."  But when I hear these sound samples all I hear is noise, just don't understand the thinking on this release at all (sorry).  I hope it sells well for you, but I won't be buying one!  I just think Lopez is so overrated.  Please release more Oophoi, Netherworld, or another Cryosphere comp. That's the kind of arctic droneage I crave! How about an Oophoi/Netherworld project called "Lunar Ice Caves", which would be a sort of glacial movements in space?  :-) 


Hello drone on,

thanks for your comments of Cloudlands and An Aerieal View and for your suggestions (are appreciated) but in my opinion i think that Amarok it's not only noise...is an authentic journey into the lands cold and the sound samples can not give you the real idea of what is really the entire CD.I have produce Amarok because it's a soundscape that describes the most hostile lands of the Arctic where the Inuit live...therefore for me - and Glacial Movements - it has sense

I'm not agree with you when you say that Lopez is overrated.... :) i have into my agenda of 2010 a new Netherworld CD "Over The Summit" and a new Thomas Koner "Neues Land"

Best regards,
Glacial Movements Rec.

Campus Stellae

"Lunar Ice Caves" sounds terrific Drone On, I should think about it, gather my energies and go back to the studio, forcing Netherworld to join me... who knows? maybe next year. Oh by the way, thanks for the feedback about "An Aerial View" and "Cloudlands", it is the first time I read something about "Cloudlands" on the Forum, it seems like nobody liked it... too strange maybe...?
Databloem is ready to reissue "Mare Vaporum" and the complete set of "Signals From The Great Beyond" (but in three separate releases), and I'm also discussing about the release of "Il Silenzio di Dio", a 2008 live project recorded the year after "Arpe di Sabbia". Then Mike should release "The Path of White Clouds", and the collaboration with Seren Ffordd "The Martian Chronicles".
Another album is completed: "Zero Distance: The Dreamfields", which is the sequel of "Distance to Zero". I've just sent the master to Paul Vnuk, let's see what happens.


whooo hooo

more oophoi soulglue
and i love adventurous floating in the cloudlands



Hello folks,

Amarok review by BOOMKAT (UK):


For those yet to discover Francisco Lopez's vast discography, Amarok represents a brilliant way in. While not necessarily any more or any less accessible than material you'll hear elsewhere in his catalogue, there are ties between this mammoth hour-long piece and the language of dark-ambient music. You'll have to crank the volume a little bit to appreciate the scale and dynamic range employed here, but once you've acclimatised the Spanish composer soon immerses you in an icy drone-grotto, booming with low end presence and ground-melting rumbles while a biting arctic wind circulates. The piece's name, Amarok, is derived from a giant wolf in Inuit mythology. Aptly, at one stage you hear a snarling, heavy breathing rise up from the backdrop, sounding like a field recording of some terrifying cave beast, which by Lopez's very studious and level-headed standards almost comes across as a bit campy, but in this context such noises fit in with the bleak polar atmospherics of the piece. In addition to Lopez regulars, fans of Thomas Koner and Deathprod would do well to ckeck this out. Highly recommended.


I loved the  Cloudlands...had to buy a download though, would love to have a hardcopy eventually


New review on BRAINWASHED Written by Justin Patrick


Lopez' music has a way of getting under my skin, in the same way the faint whine from fluorescent lights and computer screens in an office or the background hum of refrigerators and appliances at home do. While listening to Amarok it becomes part of the environment and the mind filters out its steady subliminal assault. At times I almost forgot I had an album playing, but then the pressure either built up with noise reasserting itself, or it halted abruptly at which times I felt an immediate sense of ease and relaxation. These moments don't last though and the underlying anxiety (both frigid and animalistic) inevitably returns.

Although one continuous work, there are clear movements or sections within Amarok. The first is like a slow wind that gradually builds up into a gale of near white noise with a driving pulse of low-end macerating beneath. The storm of sounds disperses abruptly before descending back into an icy oblivion where it meanders around for a while longer.

For me, the high point of the 64 minute soundscape comes early on, in what I hear as a second movement to the work, starting around the 16 minute mark. It also places the recording in the context of its given name: Amarok is a monstrous wolf in Inuit mythology that tracks down and devours anyone who is foolish enough to hunt alone at night. I can hear the bestial snarls of this creature—compoundeded from what manner of source material I know not—as it tramples through snowy arctic wastes. At first it sounds like chains being drug across the ice, or the heavy chug of an ocean liner. Whatever the original field recordings were of, they quickly transform into vaporous snarls. The bestial growls of terror become slightly more defined while leaving plenty of room for my imagination to fill in the gaps.

The long remainder of the album is not as blatantly horrific though it is unsettling. Recorded between 2007-2009 and evocative of desolate isolation, Lopez claims it is the "spookiest work I've ever done." It is easy to agree with him on this point, based on what else I've heard from this extremely prolific sound artist. He is clearly a master at creating soundtracks for inner cinema. Approaching the work as if I was at one of his concerts, blindfolded, I am able to pay proper attention to the minutiae of sound. As a cunning craftsman he is able to shape it to precise effect.


New review on CLASSICAL DRONE written by Caleb Deupree


Francisco López is one of the most prolific sound artists active today. Since his earliest releases, more than twenty years ago, he has released well over a hundred albums and has rejuvenated musique concrète through extensive use of field recordings and other types of found sounds. I wrote about Wind [Patagonia], one of his overt field recording albums, here a while back. For as many López works as have a recognizable and sometimes even fully credited provenance, there are albums where he provides no clue whatsoever on the sounds' origins, in notes or in the works themselves. In addition, many of his pieces are untitled and packaged in the most minimal way possible — clear jewel cases, plain white cardboard — obscuring any real-world referents as much as possible in packaging as with sound sources.

The line between abstract sound object and discernable documentary is continuous, and one of López's first releases in 2010, one of his most evocative sound works to date, takes an oblique tangent to both paths. Released on the isolationist label Glacial Movements, Amarok participates in similar visual imagery as the rest of the label, with the beautiful abstract Bjarne Riesto photograph Flight gracing the cover. There's also a suggestive Inuit connection with the album's name, Amarok being a gigantic wolf in Inuit mythology. López provides no additional clues, no indication of his sound sources in the rather sparse notes, and no obvious sonic referents in the music. With a single track over an hour long, Amarok has a narrative quality that is unusual in López's longer work.

Amarok is dominated by three loud, complex sections that are separated by interludes with varying degrees of tranquility. The first mountain is exactly the sort of great cavernous crescendo I have come to expect from López. Periodic subsonic booms and percussive noise bursts introduce an ominous, murky tension soon after the beginning. A second long section builds further, with breathing sounds and a low rattle suggesting the titular giant wolf growling deep from the back of his throat. While López's trademark resonances fill the background, muffled voices and watery gurgling drift into a soft hum like the arctic wind. There's movement even here, oscillations in space, volume and timbre becoming very quiet, audible only on headphones, and eventually, not even there. The last of the three loud sections starts with an accretion of overtone drones, with circling winds, a deep tumbling, and noises that conjure images of ghost sailors on phantom ships sometimes audible through the fog. This very complex and glorious set of sounds launches into a final quiet drone section.

Anyone with even a passing interest in contemporary drone will have heard some of López's music. His pieces overtly based on field recordings seem to keep their popularity, perhaps because of the high level of activity inside the sounds or the inevitable challenge of picking out small details for identification games. He's also created unsourcable works, nearly featureless expanses constructed from white and pink noise generators sensitively filtered. characterized by the juxtaposition of extended monolithic sound blocks, without any obvious connection between them. Amarok is neither of these. With complex, thick sound masses that draw us to López in the first place, it also has substantial continuity and development, unified perhaps with some of the same sound objects used in the different sections. It has the kind of organic development that I hear in López' naturalist works, sonic fields alive with possibilities. And it has a balance between onslaught and silence that's essential in a long form, all of which make Amarok one of López's most significant works to date.