Review: Asunción + ihä – Lof

DISEMINACIÓN / MEDIO ORIENTE

Recorded live at LOF in Santiago back in August 2019, these two collaborative pieces by Chilean exploratory stalwarts Cristian Sánchez (Asunción) and Ignacio Moreno Flux (ihä) emanate like strange glows nested upon the horizon line. Both synthesiser and guitar are rendered in luminous liquid tones, loosened from shape by delays and reverbs and choruses, the guitar just discernible above the drone as a jangle of attack. Meanwhile, the usual hallmarks of a live recording fleck the foreground: punters in conversation, the noise of the recorder being handled…even the odd crackle of the microphone clipping. Yet rather than diminish the document, these details render the collaboration even more radiant and surreal. The whole room seems to be awash with emerald hue, casting shadows of punters and pints across the walls, the harmonics pulsing outward in waves that ripple through floors and jeans. How does something so transcendent emerge within, and exist alongside, such a casual social circumstance? Why am I not deterred by the fizz-click of a beer can opening during the album’s galloping climax, which otherwise sounds like a herd of alien horses traversing a hillside, backlit by exoplanetary sunrise? The power of Lof – which, I should note, is both the name of the venue and translates from Mapudungun as “community” – is that not only does the earthly reality of the music venue comfortably co-exist alongside this shimmering excursion, but the former offers the spiritual nourishment that enables the latter.