Abul Mogard & Rafael Anton Irisarri

Place of Forever (AM Radio Edit)

“… a profound sense of alchemy, effortlessly weaving intricate soundscapes at once faraway and intimate…”

Release Notes

Label: Black Knoll Editions
Release: Impossibly distant, impossibly close
Date: April 26, 2024
Mastered By: Stephan Mathieu
Artwork By: Marja de Sanctis

Bandcamp

Born out of mere chance performance, the new collaborative record between Abul Mogard and Rafael Anton Irisarri is almost an inevitable outcome of their long-lived sonic relationship, and yet I’m still excited and jumping up with glee. It’s not often that I witness two of my favourite musicians come together to create something very special, so when they do, I approach it with a deep appreciation and focused regard. I’ve sung high praises for these two alone throughout the early years of their very successful musical careers: Raf, of course, and his 2009 debut on Miasmah (which I’m still listening to, by the way, as well as The Sight Below output), along with his continuous friendship and support, as well as partnership in curating Headphone Commute’s For Ukraine compilation; and Guido, whom I detected to be an amazing synthesist [rather than a retired factory worker from Belgrade] very early on, and who became an inspiration for my own modular journey and then, again, a friend. Search these pages, and you will discover plenty of coverage [written by a genuine human, may I add – should I use that tagline instead of “honest words on honest music”?]. So yes, I am all over this amazing piece [slightly shortened for this “premiere” feature], which is taken from their upcoming two-long-playing-track release on Irisarri’s own Black Knoll Editions, recorded between London, Rome and New York [the second piece is taken from their live performance at Centro de Cultura Contempor√°nea Condeduque in Madrid].

Whether anticipated or not, the music here is deep and textural – its edgy undertones of synthesis and Farfisa organ interweaving with deliciously distorted layers of bowed guitar, recorded on Augustus Loop and lo-fi processed with a myriad of perfectly saturated effects [no less, no more]. The Radio Edit version I’m sharing today captures that essence, but it is the long-players, first at a bit over seventeen minutes and second, approaching twenty in length, that take their time to slow-burn, evolve, and unfold through breathing dynamics and plenty of headroom, that tempt me to start off their playing at pretty high volume [all ambient should be played loud!] and swell with the power of incoming waves. My only remorse is not experiencing this performance live.

This LP is based on mutual admiration, shared vision and respect. Our partnership unfolded serendipitously during a performance we did last year in Madrid, at the sold-out opening of the SoundSet Series at the Condeduque cultural center. We did an encore together that evening which resonated deeply with the audience, thus igniting a creative spark that propelled us to work remotely in our respective studios and complete this work.

Once again, the full album, titled¬†Impossibly distant, impossibly close, is out this Friday, April 16th. Mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung and cut by Loop-O, the limited edition yellow and green vinyl pressings are already sold out, but you can still grab the “BioVinyl” Black copies directly from Bandcamp (as of this writing, there are only four remaining!) or, experience it as a digital version, which I can only hope you will purchase in FLAC. Highly recommended!