Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Wilder Gonzales Agreda - Violahorizontes (Superspace Records, 2018)

Beams of psychedelic light emanate from the north of Lima, Peru.  These radiant streams are peppered with global ornamentation.  The post-blues wafting of Spacemen 3, the alien electricity of Autechre, the washed-out haze of Enya and the chiaroscuro patterns of The Cure.  The source of this luminosity is a single human: Wilder Gonzales Agreda.  The musician and curator of the Superspace Records imprint has been producing a timeless psychedelia for what seems like forever, nearly in a vacuum outside of his home country.

His latest missive, Violahorizontes is a unique endeavor in that it features only three new tracks, with the other six tunes being remixes courtesy of a host of unique collaborators from around the globe.  Ian Masters of Pale Saints fame appears (as Friendly Scientist), as do Peruvian ex-pat Takeshi Muto, Dutch experimental guitarist Lukas Simonis and New Zealander Sam Hamilton. 

With the three originals, Agreda demonstrates his extended tenure in sound production, offering a variety of experimental modes.  “¡Estoy Vivo CSM!” is a Jackson Pollock-esque spattering of synthetic glee, with layers of molten sound gurgling and chirping over a sub-bass thump.  The atmosphere is significantly more relaxed on “Mensajes Tántricos”, with its loping rhythm and thunderstorm samples.  Eventually, garbled messages are beamed in from the stratosphere to spice up the proceedings.  “Surrounded By Social Climbers / Feeling Much Better Alone” is a unique beast of a track, kicking things off with a warm drone which is quickly overrun by a bizarre series of miniaturized explosions.  Disembodied radio transmissions argue with a very bold synth sequence until a collapsing carousel and its broken calliope lead us to an uncertain conclusion.

One would be remiss not to mention the remixes, which offer a variety of takes on Agreda’s signature brand of psychedelia.  There are groovy moments (Takeshi Muto, Friendly Scientist), noisy moments (Lukas Simonis, j̶o̶z̶e̶f̶a̶l̶e̶k̶s̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶p̶e̶dr̶o, DJ Miami) and moments of bliss (Sam Hamilton).  Each is worth investigating in its own right, whether you’re up for a head bobbing or a head boggling good time.

Violahorizontes is available in digital format via the Superspace Records Bandcamp, so tune in and prepare to be energized by these effervescent emanations.