Info Union Told By A Shaman 
by Kyron
Black Note Music (BNM 055)
"The Path"
"Witness 2/Clear"

Kyron 's URL


fn issue October 2011
'N-Plants' - Biosphere
'Sky Snails' - The Electric Golem
'Echo Park' - Willamette
'Gramophone Transmissions' - Broken Harbour
'Negative Space' - Blue Sausage Infant
'Home Patterning' - compilation
'Polychromatic Integers' - Richard Lainhart
'Generate Records' - compilation
'Sung In Broken Symmetry' - Aquarelle

Juan Carlos Mendizabal, born in El Salvador and current resident of California, composes electronic music for dance, film, and shamanic performances under a guise of project names. He has used Kyron the longest, from his earliest electroacoustic pieces in the early 1990s, and between all of his projects he has released over fifty CDs. Kyron's latest, entitled Union and released on his own label Black Note, is a suite of interconnected electronic rituals, little windows opening to rhythmic fragments, culminating in an extended tribal dance beat replete with swampy woodland sounds and distant chanting.

Union is a single work in 28 parts, each one cross fading into the next. Kyron's music falls in an IDM-ambient techno range, with passages of sparse click-based electronica and primal rooted drumming. Each track, despite the segue, has a clear textural boundary with its neighbors, and has a unity of gesture and rhythm that helps separate one from the next. The album contains both quiet, atmospheric pieces, all fairly short, and more substantial rhythmic ones, all a bit longer and which serve as structural anchors. Within a general electronic vocabulary, Kyron sometimes uses melodic semi-acoustic instruments for brief short cameos. These often have Japanese suggestions, such as the koto sounds on The Path. The anchors use wood and skin based percussion instruments, all sounding very organic. The quieter, ambient pieces use subtle electronic rhythms and wispy, sustained backgrounds. He also uses more or less processed field recordings, including natural sounds and children playing as a diverse background for his rhythmic explorations.

The twenty-eight track titles, only displayed on the inner sleeve, hint at a symbolic structure tying the suite to the titular Union. The short, more ambient tracks are all Witnesses, numbered one to twelve but not introduced consecutively. Other tracks have highly symbolic titles: The Path, Impermanence, Persistence.... The witnessed union became part of a series of artistic statements, of which the compact disc Union is only the most recent. It started its life as a semi-traditional Jewish wedding ceremony held in Yosemite National Park, whose audio record provided some of the sources used here. Later, it was a web installation, a combination of music, images and text, still available for viewing. Mendizabal reworked the music from the installation to create this CD.

Review by Caleb Deupree


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