Hands down and summary first: "?picycle" by Alfredo Costa Monteiro is a disc only for "electro-acoustic completists?, "diehard noisemongers? or some other form of extreme avantgarde music collectors. Compare to other noise music, it?s definitely not amongst the worst shit ever produced, but it?s definitely not in the upper third either.
Some information on the sideline: Alfredo Costa Monteiro is a Portuguese composer who has been living and composing in the beautiful city of Barcelona since 1992. He is known not only for his sound art, but also for his visual art. "?picycle" is something like his 10th album in the last ten years and since I don?t know his other output I can?t compare "?picycle" to any of his other discs. The CD consists of one 37-minute piece which is quite consistent and rigidly produced. The backbone of the track is made up of a metallic drone which Monteiro only slightly modulates throughout the 37 minutes. It?s always there. Around every five to ten minutes, Monteiro throws in some rather threatening outbursts of white noise. In those, he varies more than in the background drone. Sometimes the noisy bits are nicer to listen to than other times. None of them is as unlistenable as some of power electronics? worst nightmares by artists like Whitehouse, but all of them give you a rather uneasy feeling.
The concept applied by Monteiro is nothing new in that the contrast of soft and heavy, quiet and loud, seems to have been examined up to the last molecule it seems in avantgarde music. The effect of it still has its appeal, but it tends to get old. I really wonder if anyone will buy a disc like "?picycle" and will listen to it more than twice or three times. It?s quite an interesting listen the first time, but it?s nothing you would need every day. 4/10 -- Stephan Bauer (9 July, 2008)