I always thought there was something fun about old radios where you actually had to turn the dial to find music rather than endlessly pressing buttons. Really, it was a treat to hear different songs bleeding into one another or giving way to otherworldly feedback and interference. In the back of my mind there was always that hope that hidden radio stations existed somewhere in there. Maybe if I just kept noodling around I?d stumble onto something amazing. ?Voices Stomp Flames For Requiem Times? is an beautifully packaged, limited enhanced CDR that explores the blending sounds and might be the closest we can ever get to that fantasy hidden radio station lurking on the dial.
The music produced by (etre) is self-described ?freefolkglitch,? which seems like a pretty apt description once the disc starts. The four massive tracks on the album burst with a heavy mix of guitar, random noises (instrumental and otherwise), and wide array of tape loops. Really, the end result does seem to have the looseness of free folk accompanied by the electronic clicks, pops, etc. that one would expect from glitch.
Of all the music, the eeriest and most effective piece is ?These birds say to me: ?It?s hard to live!? (for Vittorio Sereni).? Quite a title and quite a composition. The track begins with mechanical sounding static, which leads into what I believe is a sample of the safety announcement from an airliner. From here, the static rises and eventually breaks with the arrival of a light, simple piano line. Next to arrive is a series of ethereal voice samples. When combined, they seem to function as a strange chorus. This continues until suddenly the piano line shifts and a new chorus of voices creeps into the music.
Also worthy of mention is the enhanced content of this disc, the short film/music video for the non-album track ?Dear Dead Woman.? First off, it?s just neat to get a CDR release so loaded with content and second, the added visual is a worthy addition to the already strong release. The song itself is a tense mix of string and vocal sounds along with more disparate elements that carry through the track in a dark drone. Accompanying this are images of mountains, women swimming underwater, an odd amusement park diving show, and awkward studio photos of nude women from an old nudie magazine. Together, the music and film are a bit unsettling, but strangely engrossing.
Really, this entire album is very easy to enjoy on a variety of levels. Hours could be spent trying to dissect the music and figuring out the nature and source of each sound. On the other hand, it?s just as satisfying to sit back and be carried by the music on its twisted journey through sight and sound. In any event, with only eighty copies of this disc available, I highly recommend acting quickly to get a glimpse into this unique world. 8/10 -- Matt Blackall (26 September, 2007)