Review: Paco Rossique – The Visit of the Stranger (2017-2018) (Linear Obsessional, Mar 29)

These are the sounds of unease, suspicion, apprehension, that subtle but irrepressible feeling of foreboding when you hear a mysterious sound when home alone. On The Visit of the Stranger (2017-2018), Paco Rossique’s eerie cocktails of piano plinks, squeaking floorboards, ghostly drones, and carefully processed recordings conjure a world that draws from both the comfortingly familiar and the unexplored shadows just out of sight. He turns the magnifying glass to the minuscule sounds we take for granted every day, the rattles and creaks and pings that are always present but hardly ever appreciated in our homes, occupying a sound-world somewhere between the domestic subliminity of Graham Lambkin and Jason Lescalleet’s The Breadwinner and the perturbing terror of Climax Golden Twins’ Session 9 score. But like both of those works, The Visit of the Stranger becomes something much more than simply an atmospheric assemblage of concrète sounds. Instead, it touches on something truly uncanny that is difficult to qualify but also undeniably human, a quality that becomes impossible to ignore once voices are brought into the mix on the “Smooth” tracks that begin side B. And with the second of those, “Smooth V Number 52,” the album even looks inward onto itself with musings about the tuning of a piano. Rossique has created something absolutely fascinating and dense with The Visit of the Stranger, an album that is sure to reveal countless layers as I continue to listen again and again.

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