Review: Daniel Menche & Anla Courtis – Cuspa Llullu (Moving Furniture, Jun 5)

Almost a full decade after their first outing as a duo with Yaguá Ovy, relentless sound experimenters Daniel Menche and Alan/Anla Courtis have returned to provide a successive dose of perplexing tandem tumult with their new Cuspa Llullu LP on Moving Furniture. Like Yaguá Ovy, the album is comprised of two side-long tracks that deal in varying levels of environmental abstraction. The dynamic, shifting crackle textures like impatient steps on dried fallen leaves are a welcome recurrence, like our headphones are sonic magnifying glasses scanning the microscopic hustle and bustle beneath our feet. At the beginning of “Sumaq T’ikraq,” however, these sounds are accompanied by much more open surroundings of seething metal tones and clanged harmonies, possibly the ominous yet spectacular noise of a junkyard slowly coalescing into a sentient being. The room afforded by these initial tinctures only grows as they (and the piece) progress, leaving an expanse of emptiness to be filled—which the hazy recording near the end only somewhat accomplishes, forming a tremulous space of languid drones lost in the breeze. The following “Achka T’asla” starts out with a particularly wet, sinewy example of the subdued, skin-crawling “lowercase walls” being explored by artists/projects like Alice Kemp, Clive Henry, or The David Scott Cadieux Center before following a similar trajectory as the previous track, comfortably expanding into something much more macroscopic and spatially complex.

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