Argentinian experimental guitarist Anla (Alan) Courtis continues his prolific output with his debut release on Peasant Magik, limited to 100 copies. This tape, a juxtaposition of seemingly disparate elements in a rigorously minimal setting, is an occasionally charming sample of Courtis’ recent guitar and tape-based explorations.
Side A’s “Yunco” is a sidelong drone consisting of a prominent, almost overpowering low tone and some languid, tape-slowed guitar work that methodically drifts between a few notes, giving the impression of being an impressively static excerpt from what could be an exploration of infinite length. Side B’s “Yacutoro” is more lively, with flurries of reversed and sped up notes from vaguely Eastern-sounding scales. The piece goes on long enough, and is minimal enough, to allow the listener to wonder about the sources, with the piece at turns sounding like car horns or a parade, or even a hectic field recording (minus the ambience). “Yapu” employs a low drone—perhaps the same one from side A?—and some distant strumming that again hints at some exotic melodic influence.
The comes packaged in an enigmatic photo of bright, abstract seams of white light, which is juxtaposed against a purple tape shell. The hallmark Peasant Magik font and “credit ribbon” are present to lend the release a somehow regal air that’s appealing as always. The names of these tracks all refer to names of South American birds. How these elements relate to each other is a quirky mystery to be appreciated in the cassette setting, both perfectly straightforward and as enigmatic as the music on the tape. 6/10 -- Travis Bird (11 August, 2010)