Review: Carlos Issa – A Beginner’s Guide to Objeto Amarelo (scatter, Nov 11)

A Beginner’s Guide to Objeto Amarelo, though not nearly as abrasive or uncompromising as fellow South American Daniel Iván Bruno’s Brazo, still somehow shares that album’s intimidating, radical defiance, which can only be born from a meticulous, singular de- and/or re-construction of musicality into a completely new dialect. This short digital release from the recent netlabel formation of the indefatigable scatter label collects “miniatures” produced by Carlos Issa for his long-running Objeto Amarelo project between 1999 and 2019, and is even more eclectic than such an extended creation period implies. From what I can tell there’s little to no chronological order, either, so you get jarring transitions like “A Ocasião,” recorded circa 2018 for the Segundo Prédio Irmão CDr, into “Três Terríveis Rios,” a much more conventional oddball synth cut from 2006 (though it didn’t appear until 2019’s Três Terríveis Rios). It seems like this arrangement would make for quite a whiplash-heavy listening experience, and to some extent (but not a bad one) it is, but there are also plenty of tracks that gradually begin to fill in the gaps between the two aforementioned phases of Issa’s style, like “Sinal” and “Muita Polícia Muita Diversão,” which combine the unlikely pairing of minimal drum machine rhythms with searing, clinical computer noise to spectacular effect. There’s so much more to discover, so I don’t want to spoil much more (it is a beginner‘s guide, after all), but do know that “Americanos com Problemas” bears an uncanny resemblance to the more recent music of a certain Venezuelan visionary.

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