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Acoustic Trance MP3s

Victor Gama‘s album Pangeia Instrumentos is due out on October 20, 2003, from Rephlex Records, the label co-run by electronic-music star Aphex Twin. For the time being, all 12 of its tracks are downloadable as MP3 files (webpage) on the Rephlex site.

Additional information on Pangeia Instrumentos: It’s quite likely that the only thing “electronic” about this album is the recording equipment on which it was captured. This is an album of music made on acoustic instruments of Gama’s own design, after Angolan and other African tools, such as the kalimba, or thumb piano. According to the information at Rephlex’s promotional website, Gama’s instruments “can be played by two people at the same time, like a game.” Any time an act associated with the electronic-music community employs an instrument with the mallet-like piquancy of the kalimba, from Tortoise to Squarepusher, it provides a tasty symmetry. So much of minimalism, that static brand of contemporary classical music that prefigured today’s trance and ambient music, was informed by the Balinese gamelan studies of composers such as Lou Harrison and Steve Reich. Both sounds, the third world and the contemporary classical, resonate here, especially on a track titled “Meninos Anjos Desceram a Rua,” with its rapid pulsing and swelling. The Pangeia in the album’s title refers to the once great continent that subsequently divided into the continents that define our planet today. (This metaphor for reconciling seemingly distant musical genres was also employed by producer Bill Laswell for his album of remixes of Miles Davis’ electric work by DJs.) There’s an informative interview with Gama on a website called The Milk Factory, here. Note that the MP3 files on the Rephlex site are not in the same sequence as the tracks listed for Pangeia Instrumentos on the Warp Records site, where it is available for pre-order.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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