[reviews] afe092lcd
cría cuervos: vor feuerschlünden

musique machine []
webzine, u.k., august 2007

Eugenio Maggi, a.k.a. Cría Cuervos, has gotten around quite a bit in the past few years, coordinating with artists such as Paul Bradley and Maurizio Bianchi, yet has remained under the radar.

"Vor Feuerschlünden" (German for "Before Throats of Fire") consists of two long pieces over roughly 48 minutes. The label is calling this electro-acoustic and experimental music sourced from field recordings, self programmed theta waves, shortwave and software.

In case you're wondering what the hell that sounds like, here we go: the title track starts off in near silence for the first couple of minutes, then gradually builds into a noisy net of what sounds like layered radio static. About 15 minutes in, it peaks then fades back down, with some additional noises added to the stew. It takes fairly close listening to realise there's actually some artful placement of the noisy sheets of static, so you had better be in a patient mood when you crank this up. It is a touch one-dimensional, and will undoubtedly polarise listeners because of it's harsh simplicity. On the other hand, it's audaciousness makes it interesting, and it's carefully crafted enough that it doesn't come off as lazy noise-making.

The second track, "Blutgebell", is a different beast entirely. It starts off with field recordings of birds, frogs and other jungle sounds (I guess), then a febrile, sweeping drone comes in, with cicadas, which overtakes the jungle sounds. There are flourishes of what sounds like distorted wind, then at around thirteen minutes in, ocean sounds begin. There are the sounds of waves, seagulls and even a boat horn. There is an ever present background of crackly noise throughout as well. This goes on for a few minutes, until finally a babbling brook enters the picture at around the twenty minute mark, which then takes you downstream to a rain forest setting, ending the recording. If this sounds overly New Age, you're way off. There's enough barbs created by software (and I'm assuming, "theta" waves") to make this more than just simply a collection of field recordings. It's one of the best examples of "environmental" music that I've heard in a while.

The package is fine as well; it consists an over-sized wallet-style glossy sleeve with appropriate dark, natural artwork. Though this is a cd-r, it's difficult to tell, because the labels are nice as well. Act fast If you plan on getting your hands on this, as there's only 100 copies of these available.

[Erwin Michelfelder]