[reviews] afe092lcd
cría cuervos: vor feuerschlünden

heathen harvest []
webzine, usa, october 2007

Crìa Cuervos is a new musical project by Eugenio Maggi, an Italian sound artist and designer. According to the info sheet that accompanied this release, Maggi is "influenced by surrealism, minimalism, drone and industrial music, hard core / punk and grind." While the instrument-based styles play little influence on this release, everything else seems present and accurately describes the artistic style and sound of "Vor Feuerschlünden".

The sounds found on "Vor Feuerschlünden" were all captured by doing field recordings and include (albeit altered) cicadas, gas, frogs, water, and more. Maggi also programmed in his own Theta waves, short waves, and softwares. No synthesizers were used in the actual recording process of the album. So how does this translate musically?

Maggi has done an excellent job of taking his field recordings and translating them into a unique musical experience. "Vor Feuerschlünden", which is German for "Before Throats of Fire", contains two lengthy tracks: "Vor Feuerschlünden" (20 minutes) and "Blutgebell" (26 minutes). While both tracks share very similar qualities and sounds, I want to focus my attention on the second track, "Blutgebell".

"Blutgebell" ever so slowly fades in with the sounds of nature filling your speakers while droning noises sounding off in the distance pick up in intensity. As the animals and insects slowly fade away, gases pour from vents in the earth creating a slow, uneasy rhythm of the earth breathing. These sounds all fade out and are replaced by a hum - similar to a ships interior – that gradually increases in volume and depth, almost as if though you are departing from the planet you have been on.

The hum slowly, excruciatingly almost, becomes deeper and deeper as you continue farther and farther into darker depths: ultra low hums and hisses are minimalized and a feeling of calm surrounds you. You are eventually ushered off and all fades out to silence. At times this reminds me a lot of Sleep Research Facility with its almost organic, textured feel and deep yet calm ambience. It is very easy for the listener to become completely immersed in "Blutgebell"'s atmosphere and drift off, leaving everything else behind.

Afe Records have released a number of excellent titles over the years and Cría Cuervos's "Vor Feuerschlünden" can be added to that list. People who don't listen to music like this often disregard it saying that it all sounds the same or anyone could do that; but for those of us that do enjoy this style of music, it is easy to see when someone who is truly talented in the genre and knows their craft well is performing the music – Maggi is doing just that.

As most of Afe's releases are, "Vor Feuerschlünden" is limited (to 100 copies to be specific) and comes in a beautifully designed cardboard cover. If this is at all your area of musical interest, I definitely recommend checking Crìa Cuervos out.