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World Class Electronica From Mexico
on 21 May 2002
Fernando Corona first got noticed with his debut Murcof EP, Monotónu, released earlier this year on San Francisco based label Context. Hailing from Tijuana, in Mexico, Corona has worked on a variety of projects in his native town, including some time spent on composing for dance formations. This lead him to broaden his musical horizon, notably developing an interest in contemporary classic composers such as Arvo Pärt or Henryk Gorecki. Corona has also be an integrant part of the Nortec Collective of electronic musicians and artists, releasing music as Terrestre. Martes is his first album as Murcof.
Martes mixes arid micro beats and electronic noises with beautiful atmospheric soundscapes to create a unique piece of highly emotional and textural music. Corona manipulates his delicate constructions with expertise, slowly introducing layer after layer of sounds to slowly build intense patterns where intricate melodies flourish freely. Despite Memoria being strangely reminiscent of Polygon Window's eponymous track, Corona establishes very little connections with the existing electronic scene, concentrating instead on developing his own rules. Strings, pianos and woods are fully integrated with the more electronic sounds, giving each track incredible consistency and evocative power. Again, when he introduces human voice, as on the stunning Mapa, Mir or the moving Muim, he works at creating symbiotic environments to the point where it becomes difficult to dissociate reality from synthesis. Muim, perhaps more than any other track on this album sums up the Murcof equation. Here, voice, cello, drones and static beats support and complement each other in the most exquisite way, creating a complex model of contemplative incandescence, not dissimilar to the composite minimalism of Pärt or Gorecki. Martes, by all means an elaborate record, proves to be an extremely rewarding work. Far from being inaccessible and pretentious, the compositions are fluid and profoundly enjoyable. Corona seems to incorporate multiple levels of complexity all the way through, allowing the listener to appreciate this record from a different angle each time.
If the outer structure of Martes is electronic, the modern aspect of it is to be found in the more unusual components of Fernando Corona's music, and in the way they interact with each other. No other electronic record has ever offered such an extensive scope and sounded that coherent. This first Murcof album is intrinsically contemporary, and above all, a true masterpiece.