marc barreca | tremble
comprised of nine settings that exhibit a nearly perpetual sense of instability, marc barreca's tremble shudders and grinds and shifts through aural spaces that collapse from highly detailed sound fields into massive densities, or expand into sheer vapor. like subterrane before it, tremble is comprised of multiple electronic and acoustic sources. but unlike the studied restraint of subterrane, the music here often reaches thresholds of a lush beauty, unexpectedly escaping from a diversity of pitches and timbres to become a solid, seemingly stable orbit of pure sound. recorded at drab studios, bainbridge island, and mastered by taylor deupree at 12K mastering.
Its easy to call Marc Barreca an ambient composer, even when that is true. Yet his ambient music is not easily be compared to others, like say those we know from the world of drone music or those who work with field recordings. Unlike his previous release, 'Subterrane' (see Vital Weekly 737) there is no listing of any instruments, field recordings or even methods of producing this, but the result is something quite different than what we usually encounter. It continues where his previous left us and again we have a very full but spacious sounds. Perhaps again its the use of field recordings, along with an accordion and various other electronic sources, which move like tectonic plates alongside each other. Sometimes one is louder, then another, then something else, and sometimes everything seems to be in balance for a long time, and it all stays the same. But since the sound is so richly filled, the mind has trouble focussing on specific elements and it only seems things are moving. A full on sound that has a strangely relaxing atmosphere – its like being in a rainforest: it seems quiet but its full of sound and full of liveliness. Maybe I have this strange vision of rice fields, burning sun, eyes closed, colors washing and all of such things? Barreca's music also has something that is no doubt to be called 'psychedelic' – hallucinating music. Its a great album. Warm, exotic and ambient – although perhaps not always by the common denominator of the genre. Excellent album. – vital weekly
Though the typical Tremble piece enters quietly, it takes mere seconds for it to swell into the robust form it will assume for its duration—something even the recording's shortest piece, the three-minute “Squeezed From a Tube,” demonstrates. Agitated string plucks flutter alongside a mini-cyclone of electronic swirl during the aptly titled “Comet Falls,” while contrast abounds during “Suling” when clanking chains rub shoulders with blinding strings and shimmering electronics. Of all of the album's pieces, it's the final one, “Translation,” that comes closest to having a conventional compositional structure in the way it arranges saxophone, piano, horns, and strings into a flowing mass. Barreca's lava-like sound-worlds are heady constructions whose sounds spill forth in thick clusters and collectively present themselves as heaving conglomerations of shape-shifting sound (nowhere more dizzyingly than during the rather psychedelic “Periodicity”). In Tremble's case, a word like organic is less applicable than geologic, given the immense tectonic force with which its material convulses. - Textura