Longina !Siam Acnun Review

Album. Released 5 April 2003.  

BBC Review

More genre busting electronica from this vital young Portugese label.

Olli Siebelt 2003

"Laptop activist and software terrorist" isn't maybe the way you'd introduce yourself at cocktail parties, but sure enough, thatshowPortugese upstart Chiu Longina is describing himself. Now, with a title like that, we simply had to check him out.

!Siam Acnun is the latest release from the excellent experimental Portugese label Cronica, which (a mere five releases into its young life on the experimental music scene) is really giving the big boys like Warp and Mille Plateaux a run for their money.

There are no mere mortals, scruffy ex-record store clerks or wanna-be DJs on its roster, and our Galician friend Chiu Longina comes to the table with a resume that is as impressive as it comes.

A self described theoretician, analyst and audio engineer, he not only coordinates the audio spaces of the IFI festival of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Ponteverda, but also co-founded the excellent SINSAL audio collective based in Vigo, Spain.

Instead of throwing us head first into a world of sounds we've never heard before, Longina's modus operandi is to take tribal house and deep techno one step further down the rabbit hole; like a fun house mirror, you recognize the image, but it's not quite what it seems to be.

"Nosac" kicks the CD off with a muted breakbeat and pan delay melody which never seems to come to the forefront. The mix keeps the beat tucked away in a dark corner and never quite lets it out of the shadows.

"Tiwokre" and "Aloiuqru"imagine a Felix Da Housecat or DJ Sneak track ripped apart and then pasted back together with glue that doesn't quite hold the way it should.

"Oexe Ram" is sultry techno jazz underpinned bya minimalist dub bassline that will stick in your head for days. The atmosphere on this track alone is worth the price of admission.

A lot of Longina's work has focused on acousmatic music specifically built around surround sound audio for very intimate audiences. This is evident in his songwriting; the devil is in the details. Minute, subtle nuances lurk at the very edge of the stereo spectrum; sometimes a little melody, a little harmonic resonance but something always catches your attention in this little CD, no matter how many times you play it.

Again, it's refreshing to see that experimental music is really starting to take hold outside of the usual centres of its popularity. !Siam Acnun is a fabulous little peek into a world of experimental electronic music that while relegated to semi-obscurity at the moment, is sure to make an impact in coming days.

Say you were there before everyone else.

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