(New Album Review) Alan Courtis- Los Galpones

Long-active sound artist Alan Courtis’s newest outing Los Galpones [The Sheds], off Brooklyn’s Fabrica Records surely deserves recognition as one of the strongest noise releases of the year. Noise in this sense does not mean no-input-mixer delirium or laptop-generated static, but, rather, a vicious and insistent electro-acoustic sound collage: metal against metal, string violence, murky rumblings. The sinister tribal pulse present on past collections (either on his own or as a member of Reynols, most notably) like 2007’s excellent Las sales fundentes [The flushing salts] reaches a fever pitch here, like on the hammering “Estiba”. The dissonant hacking of the violin on “Corralon” sends shockwaves through the gloom to wicked effect. Courtis’s usage of found metal objects creates a corrosive trance– I suppose you could call this the psychedelic krautrock or punk rock of free-improv music…

Though Courtis has managed to chug along at the rate of about three or four releases a year since the mid-90s, this is by no means a routine effort in the vein of a “keeping busy” one-off collaboration. A minor masterpiece to start off 2017.

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