Spanish singer and musician Merche Blasco has worked with installation artists in the part, and this album—a collaboration with Cristian Vogel, the man behind the label releasing it—is a conceptual avant-pop riff on the idea of normalcy. “The cat is on the couch,” Blasco sings. “This is how I have breakfast.” She explains that she likes butter and marmalade on her toast. Around her, suburban noises surge and click and mutter. Scissors snip open with a lightly sinister sound; clocks tick; a digital alarm beeps; water in a pipe growls turbulently as if the singer is being drowned. A group of female voices choruses, “Shut up!” in the playfully sneering tone of people who are coming into physical adulthood and not yet sure how their newfound power should be deployed. It’s everyday life as an enveloping, secretive dream, a distant aural cousin to the scenes in the garden at the start of Blue Velvet. Burbuja has a tighter conventional focus than the work of some other found-sound musicians—the tracks don’t sprawl and meander, there aren’t long periods of near-silence in which water trickles or wind blows for minutes on end—but the album itself doesn’t have a dominant moment. It floats past, wraps you temporarily in claustrophobia, then moves on.
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// Notes from the Road
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