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Retinascan 063 . 2006

Pablo Reche is from Argentina, Ubeboet is Spanish. Both work in the field of low-frequency reductionism, "Duae" being their second collaborative release (the first was a short online track on Zeromoon). Let me tell you straight away that this album is one of the best of the genre that I've had the pleasure to meet in years. Comprising four tracks, little more than 36 minutes - for me, the perfect length for this kind of music - the record was composed using, for the most part, field recordings that Reche and Miguel Angel Tolosa (Ubeboet's real name) made in their respective homelands and processed until they became more or less unrecognizable. Thus, don't expect singing birds or airplanes: what you'll find instead is a continuous deep harmonic radiation, an ominous hum like the whisper of a city at night as heard from the distance, a silently devastating sense of anguish affecting your calmness during the realization of something bigger than words. Some of the tracks feature a slow pulse camouflaged in subdural loops and wooshes; the second and longest one contains subsonic activities that a seismograph would record as a third-level earthquake, muffled eruptions against the auricular membranes working wonders when listened in the right frame of mind. A distant comparison, in this case, could be made with Daniel Menche and Kiyoshi Mizutani's "Garden", a one-in-a-million masterpiece that I won't stop to suggest to anybody who still has some taste when it comes to (erstwhile) deep listening. In short, don't let "Duae" fade away unnoticed: it's a sombre lithany for the soul that needs to be listened in total silence, repeatedly, and then some. Very highly recommended.

(massimo ricci, touching extremes)

In my mind duae is the antithesis of anything pastoral. Repeated listening to its tracks summon images ranging from abandoned urban landscapes of dilapidated factories and corroded machinery to the vast, cold, infinite emptiness of space. The opaque, deep sounds on this release coupled with the archaic Latin titles give duae a surreal isolationist atmosphere.

Contained within urbs (city) and circum (around), is the spectre of a a heavy, mechanized, industrial presence. A cold drone gradually builds during the opening segment of urbs which becomes the focal point of this track as low-frequency sounds resonate on the periphery. On circum the whine, groans, and hiss of machinery along with a reverberating drone make for formidable listening.

The sounds of both graviter (weighty, heavy) and natura duce (in accordance with your instinct ) create an infinite, space-like atmosphere. As the title suggests, graviter is a ponderous, brooding soundscape. The uneven, deep bass rumblings of the initial 5 m 30 s of this track summon images of a massive engine carrying a hulking craft through outer space. A half-minute of silence is followed by a return of the low-end sounds but with additional layers of subtle transparent tones and a beautiful drone floating effortlessly in the foreground. An insistent, but restrained, static helps to temper the cold, angrily intensifying, echoing drone that gradually builds in on natura duce. The only respite to this tense composition are the gentle, ethereal tones that make a brief appearance towards the end of the track which fade into the gentle pop and crackle of what sounds like a needle playing the empty grooves on vinyl.

The CD-R comes packaged in a DVD case that also contains a booklet with images created by iambored and accompanying words from Miguel Tolosa (Ubeboet). Some of the pictures are surreal - juxtaposing images of tree branches with the perished remnants of some industrial/manufacturing objects.

(larry johnson, earlabs)

Pablo Reche from Buenos Aires has a long string of releases available, and some are in collaboration with other people. 'Duae' is his second collaboration with Madrid based Miguel Angel Tolosa, aka Ubeboet. He is perhaps less known, but he has releases on Non Visual Objects, Zeromoon and Earlabs. For this new work they solely use field recordings made in their home cities, but they are transformed to a point in which they are hard to recognize. Perhaps the heavily treated sound of rain and thunder? The end of 'Natura Duce' hints to that. Throughout the four tracks are low end humming birds for which the volume has to be put in a much higher fashion (it's mixed in true Lopezian tradition), but it's a solid, good work that can easily meet with the better in the field.

(frans de waard, vital weekly)