This album of electronics, field recordings and prepared piano pieces from Canary Islander Rossique is so atmospheric you can almost taste it. Those familiar with Rossique’s previous releases – such as 2013’s Caves or last year’s Resounding Graphic – will have an idea of the aesthetic approach: ominous synth drones, criss crossed by fragments of piano and distant voices, and underpinned by irregular, percussive strikes of stone and metal.
On Collages and Dispersions Rossique has pared things down from the closely-woven spookiness of those previous records. The vibe is unsettling, displaced and, although the recordings are often drenched in reverb, are strangely claustrophobic. There’s a drier, almost mustier feel on tracks like The Long Waiting or The Space of a Door, as if they’re hewn from the volcanic Canary Island rock to form elemental, cubist structures.
It’s that cold, still feeling you get from being inside a vast underground cave – or occasionally a deserted building – with the constant squeaks and scuffles of nature going about its business magnified into nameless terrors by the twin lenses of the reverberant space and the repressed memories of the listeners deep unconscious. Fears from the ancient lizard brain…
There’s a departure from the template on Parallel Roles, its opening hubbub of voices and drones reminiscent of Radioactivity-era Kraftwerk. The voices fade after a while, replaced with machine-like clanks and layered washes of synth, before returning towards the end. They’re slowed down this time, slurred, which adds to the narcotic, hallucinatory feel.
In After Noon O, a series of hollow, mournful whistles rise up from the deep. I’m reminded of Arve Henriksen’s early solo recordings, Sakuteiki perhaps. These simple melodic figures could be calling to us from across time and space, looping away and disappearing before we can adequately grasp them, as the lower register rustles and prepared piano base notes beaver away like mysterious excavations.
Preparations for rituals we’ll never experience. Despatches from the outer reaches.