[releases] afe115lcd
horchata: acytota

  Artist: Horchata
Title: Acytota
Format: CD-R ltd. to 100 copies in pro-printed cardboard sleeve
Tracks: 16
Playing time: 60:34
Release date: October 2008
File under: Minimal Ambient / Experimental / Glitch

Track List:

1.  Viroid  1:04

2.  Satellite  3:53

3.  Plasmid  4:18

4.  Phagemid  1:17

5.  Transposon  3:16

6.  Non-cellular  3:46

7.  Transmission  3:40

8.  Capsid  3:22

9.  RNA  2:52

10.  Cosmid  4:31

11.  Fosmid  6:25

12.  Prion  6:24

13.  Protein  6:37

14.  DNA  3:51

15.  Virus  3:35

16.  Acytota  1:11



is the name used by Michael Palace for his electronic music compositions.

His music focuses on four major elements: complex beat music, dark ambient soundscapes, programmed compositional glitch music, and field recordings. Often a composition will include several of these elements.

Palace has worked for a number of years as a research scientist at the University of New Hampshire's Complex System Research Center.

His work there focuses on necromass or dead wood in Amazonia. During his numerous field visits to the rainforest, he has recorded sounds using various microphones and minidisk recorders.

Modification of many computer simulations have yielded some interesting sound generating and compositional programs which are featured in newer recordings by Palace.

Finally, video and images have begun to feature more in Palace's live performances, using video that was shot in Amazonia and generated by computer programs.

Afe released Horchata's "Coleoid" back in April 2007, now it's time for "Acytota". Here's a description of the album
according to Michael's own words:

"Acytota" involves the use of many different snippets of sounds from field recordings, synthesizer programs, computer code and effect patches that I have made over the past few years. I viewed these as building blocks in development of a sound or idea of a song and only began to place them in a compositional context for the completion of this album.

The idea of the album title and song titles can be viewed as how I viewed these elements of the song and sounds, i.e. they are pre-life aspects of sound and I approached the final versions of these songs a little differently than other Horchata releases.

Two of the field recordings are unaltered, but present transparent views of the world where and when I made those sounds. The last song uses every one of my Horchata songs I could find. It is a series of samples scanned over on a macrolevel and sound and frequency is made through spinning past each of the songs and jumping around between them.

Though I like ambient, glitchcore music and academic electroacoustic music, I rarely find them together in one song or on a release. I find the glitchcore relies too much on rhythm, which I admire, but lack personally, academic music needs to be digested and read about, and ambient often is redundant and does not incorporate enough experimental aspects.

I attempted in this recording to meld these styles. Some songs have all three elements, some have only one, and though they may seem very different they, speak the same dialect which is sound as a small living organism, an entity of frequency that relies not only on itself, but flourishes in a small microcosm of other sounds, dependant and parasitic on large organisms.


"...Palace's sound world has evolved from the language of minimalism, but bears resemblances to modern composition, and leftfield electronica, not to mention that dreaded "A" word... ambience. However, those world weary ambient acolytes amongst you will be glad to know that Palace neatly side-steps most ambient cliches by peppering his ambiences with curious distortions and deformations, time stretching and elasticising sounds, and reconfiguring their originating co-ordinates, leaving us with a very strange and compelling collection of works indeed. This I can highly recommend just for its explicit originality, and blistering creativity."
White_Line [more]

"...Despite the minidisc recording coming from Amazonia and Mato Grosso, the very matter of this release is made out of drones and ambient music and Palace is a real master for what regards the use of soft droning and subtle sounds that creep slowly behind the dark melodies. Despite being a really dark piece what surprises me the most of "Acytota" is the fact it's still far from a dark ambient effort and it also maintains a really warm essence. I'm sure it has to do with self suggestion, but while listening to these soft foggy drones I could also imagine one of those heartbreaking documentaries portraying animal wildlife so well you'd die to be there. Palace in the past have also recorded material on labels such as Ad Noiseam and it may help you to understand we're speaking about a top notch ambient musician, but soft sounds, drones and the great production of this new release speak louder than his discography or I'd better write they’re just softer than a thousand drones. Melancholic, misty and heartfelt."
Chain D.L.K. [more]

"Behind Horchata is one Micheal Palace, of whom we only heard a release he did with Andrea Marutti (the man behind Afe Records). He worked as a research scientist, and the work brought him to the rainforests where he did recordings, which he uses in his music. His reworkings involve lots of computer processing and thus it's hard if not impossible to recognize anything from the original sound input... Horchata has a lot of tracks on his album, which spans almost an hour, and I must admit that even when I thought this was all very nice its also quite long altogether and that there isn't enough variation in the material to keep it interesting throughout. Maybe some pieces less and the album as a whole could have benefitted from that."
Vital Weekly [more]

"Horchata is the music project of Michael Palace, who is also a scientist at the Complex Systems Research Center at UNH... With "Acytota" he creates 16 tracks with a duration of around an hour... The tracks have an individual sound world, but connect together as a whole. A lot of them are aided with deep drones, which creates a sense of dimension. There are also a lot of more experimental sound structures to be found. What works nicely is that here and there some string elements and reverberating piano sounds are worked into some tracks... Again a winner for Afe Records with another high quality release. Interesting soundscapes and a real feeling of immersion. Go get it now!"
Gothtronic [more]

"Plasmid"'s sonic palette begins painting a pretty and organic picture which gradually morphs into a more sinister soundscape. As the track progresses rhythmic elements are introduced, creating uneasiness and tension. Like the forewarning of the close proximity of a ferocious jungle predator, "Plasmid" is a blind force of nature. Splendid and fearsome, even though it has no intentions of being either, it just is.... "Acytota" is a sixty minute powerhouse fashioned from juxtaposed synthetic and organic sounds that don't fall prey to the clichés commonly associated with field recording..."
Connexion Bizarre [more]