alud |cs070








































[…] Ainda mal refeito das gratas impresões provocadas pelos recentes discos de Sei Miguel, com Fala Mariam, Rafael Toral e César Burago ("The Tone Gardens" - cs067), e de Ernesto Rodrigues, com Guilherme Rodrigues, Wade Matthews e Bechir Saade ("Oranges" - cs068), eis que surge “Alud”, do duo Neumática, radicado em Barcelona e formado por Pablo Rega e Alfredo Costa Monteiro. Música de fonte electrónica, com a particularidade de, na origem do som, estar material de construção doméstica e simples pick-ups em gira-discos. O fluxo sonoro originado é contínuo, sem grandes oscilações, cortes ou abruptas mudanças de direcção, tendo os artistas optado por focar aspectos relacionados com a duração e com a subtil modulação do ruído, dessa forma criando estruturas densas, espessas e saturadas, ainda assim muito fáceis e agradáveis de ouvir. Eduardo Chagas (Jazz e Arredores)

The eerie collaborative world of Pablo Rega and Alfredo Costa Monteiro derives respectively from home made electronic devices and turntable pickups. These errant devices are used in unlikely ways to generate a wide palette of sounds, tones and rhythmic environements; both avoid the chaotic, instead structuring and controlling their sounds in sculpted ways.
The three unnamed tracks build like pressurized sound chambers, from subtle progression to cantankerous and disturbing walls of sound. The dynamics of the pieces are sophisticated and complex, allowing the listener to breathe between the blasts, while consistently maintaining interest with auditory objects of indiscernible origin. It's as though you were journeying down a dark copper path inside a malfunctioning circuit board, where each component offered it's own voice in whine and static while a massive fan sometimes filtered out all senses. An unusual, engaging and mysterious set of works. Squidco

[...] The only duo here, is also named as a band: Neumatica, a duo of Pablo Rega (home made electronic devices) and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (pick-ups on turntable). They recorded their three pieces in 2005, in Barcelona. Here too the music sounds very electric, as opposed to electronic. Feedback hum and hiss about, with the amplification of objects playing a different, yet completely adequate part. The two sound world that may seem alien to each other work together very well. Another highlight. Frans de Waard (Vital)

Noise therapy, from Pablo Rega (homemade electronic devices) and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (pickups on turntable), and it's pretty scary. Those lullabies mummy used to sing are by now forgotten, it’s time to learn survival. Machines start buzzing, their menacing yet familiar presence soon overwhelming. Everything is intensity, in tension, in question, a progressively blurring stain. A couple of crunching hand grenades of distortion and, when the smoke clears, distant metallic drones like the cellar door about to close. Light a match and you realize how dirty the place is. Those goddamn workers in the apartment next door, don't they ever stop? The air conditioning doesn’t work properly, either. There's a bad smell of fried eggs and the radio won't tune in, yet messages can still be detected, their meaning barely decipherable amidst sounds of boiling water. Someone's trying to break in. Water is running down the wall and the paint peeling off. Breath failing, lack of oxygen. A coin spins on a metal sheet. Sounds of footfalls, burning coals, eternal war. You might feel better later. Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

Encounter between everyday broken electronics and electroacoustic noise as seen from a minimal angle, allowing sparse densities and listening thresholds to feature prominently. Static envelopes gather various sources, whether concrete, frequency modulated or live electronic in order to stress their textural component. Pedro Lopez (Modisti)Alfredo Costa Monteiro, here at "pick-ups on turntable", may well be one of the loudest, meanest improvisers around. Even when he plays a plain accordeon, he manages to raise some serious hell. Here, he teams up with Pablo Rega, at "home made electronic devices", for a wisely short and to the point cd (three tracks, 37'50") documenting a performance given in Barcelona in 2005. If you're familiar with Costa Monteiro's other duo Cremaster, you can have a hint about how "Alud" sounds: a flow of menacing noise, be it hisses, crackles, gurgles or metallic low-end rumbles. It could even be labelled "harsh noise", but bear in mind this has a lot of nuances and microscopic details that are usually lost in full-on noise releases. Again, if you know other releases of Costa Monteiro's, you'll know what to expect, which is the only drawback I see in this powerful and radical performance. Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

Neumatica is Pablo Rega (homemade electronic devices) and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (pick-ups on turntable). One of the aspects of Costa Monteiro’s work I’ve always enjoyed is how he somehow brings an inherent sense of musicality to almost anything he does, no matter how superficially abstract; there’s a sense of body, an organic feel to the music. It comes across here as well, though I assume Rega (a new name to me) is at least equally responsible. In some respects, “Alud” reminded me of the better work from the late, lamented Voice Crack, a similar hardscrabble veneer, but without the overt rhythmic elements that duo tended to fall back on. Here, all the harshness, the static, the bumps cohere into wonderfully imagistic soundscapes, the type of music that has me constantly listening around corners, seeking, and usually finding, more. A beautifully realized recording. Brian Olewnick (Bagatellen)

From the high tension wires dressed in mesocyclonic fog on the cover (the usual dramatic Creative Sources booklet imagery), it wouldn't be out of line to conclude that this thorny slice of microsonic improv might set your teeth on edge. Turns out first impressions are once again correct. The duo of Pablo Rega (home made electronic devices) and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (pick-ups on turntable) seem intent on inventing new orthodoxies for their sound-sculpting, as evidenced by the ambiguity of their choice of instruments — minimalism shuffling ever so closer to virtual nonexistence. As electroacoustic improv beats a hasty retreat from anything resembling a free jazz idiom and aligns itself further with what gents like Stockhausen or Xenakis might have done, definitions go out the window, context as well. Finally, what is left is pure aural sensation, the sounds themselves the only thing left to contemplate and/or consider, a means to an end, then — or is it the other way around?
Neumatica's "music", if one can call it that, feels like the kinds of muted fireworks display more applicable to labels such as 12k or con-v, operations well versed in the onkyo school of digital minutiae. There is little doubt that the scratchy, febrile sounds here are initiated solely by improvisation, but that very methodology is why the majority of Alud seems to lack impetus. Rega and Monteiro manage to evoke some measure of vibrancy from their respective apparatuses, each of the three pieces moving through numerous electrical moods: jarring one moment, barely discernible the next, although the duo do regularly favor milieus carved out of adjunct hums, digital brine, machinic discharge, and a succession of coarse, grainy odds and ends. The third and final piece in particular moves through simulations of rocket-booster blast and sputtering feedback that still manages to adhere to minimalist traditions of making a little do a lot, though whether or not such inimical sounds tickle your cochlea or not is a matter of taste. Neumatica's itchy schematics make some of Keith Rowe's similarly etched work feel practically melodious by comparison; Rega and Monteiro's indulgences offer little more than brave noise. Darren Bergstein (The Squid's Ear)