Cyclic Defrost about Vitor Joaquim’s “Filament”

Vitor Joaquim has been a prolific and esteemed producer since the nineties and is considered one of Portugal’s finest electronic artists, and his latest for the Ukrainian Kvitnu label will only further his reputation. As the title implies Filament works in precise digital shards, familiar from the post clicks n’ cuts language of Raster Noton, 12k and so on. Where Joaquim distinguishes himself is in the vague industrial murkiness covering these details, like a layer of grey soot deposited on each tone, everything lightly charred and blackened.

Hence it’s a much bleaker offering than that of his contemporaries, a post-apocalyptic vision of laptop production, revealing the promises left unfulfilled by technological advancement. The title work is emblematic of this vision, a slow-moving smeared backdrop comprised of choppy choral drones and digital insectoid chatter, all downcast and sad. ‘Filaments and Walls’ employs bolder gestures, faint guitar tones flickering beside a messy scatter of white noise chunks and bursts of fizz, cinematic like Klimek. ‘Filaments of Devotion’ combines Tim Hecker-esque feedback with cavernous sub-bass whoomps, a suitably gothic finale to such a convincingly pessimistic document.

Joshua Meggitt

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