My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

An Ecosystem Unto Itself

Organic Adventures from Buenos Aires, Argentina's Natural Life Essence

Organic Adventures earns its title over six tracks of field-recording-filled, rain-dappled, thunder-enhanced, bird-song-adorned tracks. The album comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Juan Pablo Giacovino, aka Natural Life Essence. Presumably the release is a thematic follow-up to Giacovino’s earlier In-Organic Adventures, which was all soothingly digital music: shimmery, quivering, shiny tracks of synthetic unrealism.

In contrast, the music on Organic Adventures is all pleasure-zone-out bliss. The album is an ecosystem unto itself. Some of it gets downright funky, like the dub-flavored “Organic Adverntures-3,” but more often it is densely, droningly minimalistic. “Organic Adventures 4(Part II)” could be a lost Terry Riley recording, a Fourth World raga. “Liberation(Flying Free)” mixes actual nature sounds with fillips of timbral debris.

Perhaps the best compliment that can be paid the music is that it seems not only organic but generative. So sedate yet shifty are the various layers of sound, that they leave behind the traditional concept of composition and come to work more as expertly honed atmospheres. Science fiction that explores artificial life often employs the trope of the expert craftsperson, one who can shape an eyeball or a bonsai tree from inorganic substances and yet make it as real as that which it emulates. Juan Pablo Giacovino is just such a craftsperson of sound. The scifi vibe is affirmed on the album’s final track, “Organic Adventures 8,” which includes an exploratory voiceover — what appears to be someone reading Robert M. Hazen’s 2012 book The Story of Earth — that sometimes struggles to be heard amid the overwhelming sound field it can be imagined to describe.

Album originally released by the Neotantra label on June 5, 2020, at neotantra.bandcamp.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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