Kvitnu keeps on with their quest putting out “high blood pressure music”. This time it’s Portuguese ambient electronic artist Vitor Joaquim and his album Filament. Described by the label to be: ‘…a silent scream against the massacre of intensity and constant pulse coming from out of us.’
Vitor Joaquim’s Filament reached 9th place among Top ambient albums of 2011 by French e-zine Indie Rock Mag, in competition with artists such as Aidan Baker, Tim Hecker, Sun Thief and Cindytalk, and beating Fennesz + Sakamoto. Filament, in five movements, is music composed and performed by Vitor Joaquim. As usual the delicious Kvitnu label artwork design is done by Zavoloka. Must be one of the finest labels around when it comes to CD design.
Vitor Joaquim states: ‘Our daily life is being more and more polluted with fast and short messages. What is not intense and sharp has no effectiveness. The sense of belonging and timeless breathe is more and more away from us. We live in a world full of information and in risk of permanent ignorance. We are not aloud to stay, breath, and keep staying. We are constantly pushed toward something. Whatever it is something vital for us, or absolutely nonsense. It’s a time where only short sentences can be effective. It’s the time of buzzwords and sound bites. A time where’s devotion is being displaced from every gesture that we do. All is reduced to a task, all must be easy and logical. This is what Joaquim wants to fight, or make a statement against. Filament is brutal, hardcore ambient. It starts out with “Filament and Voids” like being in the middle of a waste winter desert, when all of a sudden the disturbance of electric storms appear. One can hear (and almost see) the passage of an electric current through the air out of the speakers. The spooky atmosphere is underlined by a deep bass punching your stomach. “Filament and Walls” follows, and I see gigantic, empty factory halls – wall-to-wall white-frozen with a halo of steam. It’s a brutally intense movement.
The title track is a more careful composition, but the intensity of the album’s thread and theme is present. “Filament of Conformity” and “Filament of Devotion” fill the rest of the album, summing up Joaquim’s view of the modern world. This our modern, hectic society, with no time to stop for a break/breath and summarize before moving on in a hastily way. The closing track is the most ‘conventional’ one.
The currents and undercurrents of Filament are threatening and fascinating to listen to. It’s a massive piece (some 52 minutes long) of ambience for ears and body. You’d better listen well prepared for entering a sonic wasteland. It’s not an easy journey. Like Joaquim says: ‘We still have our hearts to feel what beat is, and what beat means. We don’t need to push ourselves to the edge of ourselves at every moment. Time needs to recover he’s (sic) own time. Filament is my answer to that question. An answer that is not linear, not sharp, not short, not fast, not easy. An answer that is all the contrary, having the ear and the listening as a corridor for a better understanding of the world and ourselves. Filament is complex, extended, nonlinear and concentrated on the detail. Like life in itself…’
Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen
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