Francisco López / Z’ev

Maybe Greece is having financial problems as a country, but it also provides a home for a number of very active and intriguing admirers of sonic arts. Recently I had the pleasure to write about the Triple Bath label and their constant production of releases. This time Agxivatein delivers with two releases from none other than Francisco López and Z’ev. Time to support our Greek friends and buy some of those releases, you know they’re worth it!

Francisco López - Fango de Euriptéridos
Francisco López “Fango de Euriptéridos”
3″ CD-R, Agxivatein, 2011
www.franciscolopez.net
The release by Francisco López is entitled “Fango de Euriptéridos” and is a re-release from a cassette edition of just 50 copies. The original recordings are from way back in 1990 (which is over 20 years ago!), so this twenty-minute, 3″ CD-R will be a welcome addition to your collection, especially if you like to compare the old and the new and see how artists develop. My personal perception would be that Mr López is working in a much more compositional way on this release, in comparison to the more sonic creation he is working with now. But that is just a personal opinion based on a few releases I have and one live appearance I attended. As my collection is nowhere complete, I might be completely missing the proverbial nail. Nevertheless, the recording is well worth getting, as the atmosphere of his smothering, almost asphyxiating, sounds is very well registered. [7.5/10]

Z'ev - Live in Athens
Z’ev “Live in Athens”
CD-Rr, Agxivatein, 2011
www.rhythmajik.com
The second release is again a live recording, this time by American tribalist and rhythmajikal performer Z’ev, who performed for an audience of about 50 Athenians at Knot Gallery in October 2010. The concert was curated, recorded and now also released by the Agxivatein label. As it is all about the recording of a live set, the best way to describe it would be to dive back into the past to September of 2010 when Z’ev played in my hometown; instead of a gallery in Athens he performed in a synagogue in Utrecht, but the recordings on this CD-R capture the sounds I had also witnessed a few months earlier very well. Z’ev was sitting on the floor, surrounded by all kinds of instruments and objects. With each object he was able to grasp its essence, albeit in the form of a rhythm – emphasizing a ritualistic behavior – or with scraping and scratching, exploring the resonance of said object. “Live in Athens” describes a journey through both the heartbeat as well as the life essence of dead or lifeless objects, generating an optimistic story of life and hope. [8/10]

— Bauke van der Wal