Info Edward Rizo Soundscapes I 
"Soundscapes Volume 1"
by Edward Rizo
independent release (independant)

Edward Rizo'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

Edward Rizo studied classical guitar and composition at university in Florida, and his compositional paragons include such composers of exuberant music as Igor Stravinsky and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, AKA guitarist of the neo-psychedelic rock group the Mars Volta. However, his first volume Soundscapes 1 is a collection of mid-length compositions that portray no overt instrumental origins tying it to a guitar, nor any influence from his other complex models. To pare away another (for the most part) typical dimension of soundscape music, Rizo also forgoes including any field recordings that might suggest a reference point in the so-called "real" world, bringing instead a smooth and serene electronics that creates its own sense of place.

A glance at the titles will suggest a frozen, underwater itinerary: Hypothermia, Bathyscaphe, Pressurization, Baleen. Even without the watery sounds in the background, Rizo suggests sub-aquatic environments with deep bass tones (my headphones actually vibrated on Bathyscaphe) combined with guitar sounds with almost no attack that emerging mysteriously throughout. High frequencies are often muffled, and his meandering melodies hover in a tenor range, like a solo cellist in an orchestra of double bass, as demonstrated in Chasms or underneath the windswept high frequencies of Hypothermia.

Within the confines of a dark, minimal ambiance, Rizo's soundscapes each have their own distinct identities. Chasms descends through several different layers, adopting or shedding resonant overtones, settling into a harmonic cluster with one or two slowly moving voices. Pressurization, whose periodic high frequency pings over the deep bass remind me of sonar and build in intensity across the whole piece, dissipating without release. Others, like Maw and Baleen, are a series of static sound events, hovering islands of sound, discretely placed in an enveloping and reverberant space.

Edward Rizo's Soundscapes are freely available for streaming or download, well worth checking out.

Review by Caleb Deupree


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