Basque composer of electroacoustic music Miguel A. García, under the Xedh alias, offers in his new album, titled "Vinduskarm", seven pieces divided in three sections. The first section contains the piece "Ephyka Fatalum (Opening Time)", juxtaposing industrial to minimal sonic events, linked under a common delicate sense of sound. Moving on to the second chapter, we find three pieces: "Acuphenos (Vinduskarm)", "A Bad Lesson in Brückner" and "Emotional Ear Test". Here we cope with a complete study in drones, noise and silence. The third part of the album is made of the last three pieces: "The Cube", "Inne" and "El Ser, en El Umbral (Last Piece)". For the first time harmony is barely audible, sunk into piles of processed acoustic instruments (brass and stringed), resulting in an alienated sonata form... Throughout the album, entirely composed in 2006, there is mystery evident in each grain of sound, in each cluster of tones, in every resonant aural texture... Mystery that gets baptized in a triple bath of synthetic sound, acoustic sound and field recordings.
1. Ephyka Fatalum (Opening Time)
2. Acuphenos (Vinduskarm)
3. A Bad Lesson in Brückner
4. Emotional Ear Test
5. The Cube
7. El Ser, en El Umbral (Last Piece)
Themistoklis Pantelopoulos, November - December 2008
Themistoklis Pantelopoulos, November - December 2008
based on photos by Elena Mavrikidou, at the Amazon, March 2008
January 30, 2009
Bauke van der Waal | Connexion Bizarre | June 2010
Xedh is one of the names under which Miguel A. García presents his music. Since 2004 he released some 30 titles so the description on discogs.com ("one of the most active emergent figures in the scene of experimental music and sound art from the Basque Country") seems to fit quite well. The nice thing of him - and many other artists with him - is that he doesn't limit himself to one label, so there is no need for him to limit himself to one particular sound or experimental process. Which, at the same time, enables the high output again. Verato Project, TIBProd, Zeromoon, Slaughter Productions and now Triple Bath, to name but a few, have released CD-R's, downloads and cassettes by him. So get on the net and get acquainted with his sounds. But, as this is only the first thing I personally hear from him, I haven't got any reference material. Though I also don't really need it - the Greek Triple Bath label surprised me in the past already with a few nice releases and Themis has an ear for worthy newcomers in the drone/ambient/soundscape scene. And well, "Xedh" is no exception. Three themes on "Vinduskarm" are divided into seven tracks, and as a whole they form a nicely composed soundscape ranging from the watery sound of children's toys to somewhat more harsh sounding noise. At no moment it gets dull or boring. Here and there it would well fit the soundtrack of a movie, so perhaps we should file this one under 'cinematic isolationism'? It does clarify why García's work is also used for movies and sound installations. An artist the Basque Country can and should be proud of, end of discussion.
Ian Holloway | Wonderful Wooden Reasons | issue 32 | February 2010
I knew he had it in him somewhere. I've reviewed four (solo) pieces by Miguel A. Garcia in WWR over the last couple of years and whilst they've all been, at the very least, listenable there's always been a little niggle or two that has kept me from giving them an all out enthusiastic rave. Well, he's certainly dispelled any doubts I may have had with this fabulous release. The last piece I reviewed by him (his live EP under his given name, go check the archives if you're curious) was a delightful, microtonal, minimalist abstraction that was absorbing in it's sparsity but equally way too short to be fully satisfying. Vinduskarm on the other hand is a leisurely showcase of Garcia's compositional skills as he lays and overlays a plethora of sounds and textures to sumptuous effect. Even during its more raucous moments (which are rare as the album is generally a fairly sedate affair) it is never rushed or excessive. Garcia's control is absolute and he manages every aspect of the sound with consummate skill. It's very much deserving of your time.
Dmitry Vasilyev | IEM | June 2009
The only unknown name for me in these Triple Bath new releases seems to be also the most interesting one. This time again the musician from the land of Basques, his real name is Miguel Garcia. Some years ago, his music was dicovered by Zan Hoffman, the old but still active networker. In Xedh's music you can find a number of influences - Rafael Flores, Asmus Tietchens etc. But his music is really multifaceting, even the tracks inside of particular album are very different. For instance, the piece that gave title to the album is quite minimal, even static consequence of patterns, but all of them are dark and dehumanized. The next track "A Bad Lesson In Brueckner" is like a carpet made of field recordings which deliver you to the electronic sounds interplay, diffused into a post-impressionistic collage of ambient structures. In the second half of the album, the pieces are shifting to chamber music in avant-garde fashion. There are some wind and string instruments, playing some goofy but intense passages with always hiding harmonies. Naturally, this ensemble is just a virtual construct, Miguel uses just the samples. And after some time, you can see the shapes of those instruments are turning into something not recognizable, the music becomes more quiet and abstract. But in the last track (aptly subtitled "Last Piece"), we can hear the loud and loose drumming sounds that are good for esoteric rituals, like from the grave. The album is really short (40 minutes) but impressive and makes people think they should ask questions, like after every serious work of art.
Frans de Waard | Vital Weekly | issue 671 | March 2009
Another release by Miguel A. Garcia, also known as Xedh, whose work is getting better all the time. Starting out with industrial music, heavy beats and noise, these days its a very interesting mix of microsound and on this album modern classical music. 'Vinduskarm' was recorded in 2006 already, and he uses to some extent classical instruments, which he puts on his computer together into some highly interesting music. This release has three pieces, of which the second and third are in three parts. In the last part Xedh uses brass and strings to create an intense and beautiful piece of modern classical music. In the second piece it seems that field recordings play the all important role, and the instruments are absent. In the first piece, in one part only, the balance between instruments, electronics and field recordings seems to be the same. Xedh adds electronics and field recordings to the total spectrum of sounds. His recent CD release was good, but this is even better. Well balanced, owing to microsound, but the combination with real instruments works great. Perhaps a great pity that this is only released as a limited CDR and not as a real CD, but then we should be glad we can hear this after all.