We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience. Most of these are essential and already present.
We do require your explicit consent to save your cart and browsing history between visits. Read about cookies we use here.
Your cart and preferences will not be saved if you leave the site.
Out of stock

Carlos Giffoni

Dream Walker

Label: Ideologic Organ

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

About 20 years ago, Carlos Giffoni quickly made a name for himself both as a noise guitarist and a laptop noisician upon arriving in New York (via Florida and Venezuela). His expertly curated annual No Fun Festival, as well as his No Fun label, further solidified him as a key figure in the international noise scene. The festival’s success proved the formula for experimental and improvised music fests could work with the noise underground as well, but it also capitalized on the faster rate of connections being made between geographically disparate artists as a result of the (still relatively nascent) internet. Back then Carlos would play his laptop like a pinball machine, in contrast to the static stage presence of most laptop performers, and his solo music, like many others’ at that time, expressed a less dark and dour vision of the implications of harsh noise. By the close of the 2000s, he had stopped doing the festival, switched gears musically to playing the lighter No Fun Acid sets, and moved to LA.

Now he has re-emerged in a big way with Dream Walker, his first full-length since 2018’s Vain (and only his second since 2010). Inspired by the masterful performances and diffusions he heard at the February 2023 GRM electronic music festival in Paris, particularly sets by old friends Lasse Marhaug, Jim O’Rourke, and Eiko Ishibashi, he began conceptualizing new music of his own in response, turning to synthesizers and other hardware to produce a work more firmly in the tradition of European electronic music than anything else he’s done. Intended as a late night listen that evokes the edge of consciousness, with Carlos getting as close as possible to a trance state during the actual recording and mixing, each of the eleven tracks transition into one another rather than being standalone discrete pieces, forming two side-long suites that proceed like stages of a dream.

Unabashedly tonal and repetitive, the glistening opener “Now Dream,” the droning “Sleep Walker,” and the closing triptych of “Lost in Descanso,” “Sunrise,” and “The Hidden Path” occupy a power electronics-ambient nexus that feels spiritually close to the Mego label. Elsewhere, “Ticking Clock” is reminiscent of Stereolab’s non-easy listening vintage electronic side, while the two-part arpeggiated “Euphoria” recalls early Oneohtrix Point Never (which Carlos released on No Fun). The contrast between “One Breath”’s crackling opening and its remarkably fluid and soaring sustained synthesized chords is a distillation of the album’s lingering tension between electronics’ ability to project mechanical rupture as well as the organic and the infinite —or “walking between dreams,” as Carlos himself puts it.

Produced by Lasse Marhaug (who also mastered Carlos’ first solo album, Welcome Home, back in 2005), released by Stephen O’Malley (who I remember DJing at the No Fun fest), with cover art and photos by personal friends, Carlos considers the album a family affair. But Dream Walker most of all heralds a maturation of the artist, and stands as a record that exists out of pure desire, rather than obligation or force of habit; a statement of reconnecting with music not by merely revisiting it, but by building on what’s come before, both in his own work and in the music he loves. – Alan Licht, New York, December 2023

Cat. number: SOMA053CD
Year: 2024