Review: Cecilia Lopez + Wenchi Lazo – Abailable

coverSome improvisations seem less about dialogue – listening, responding, listening – and better resemble an agreement to let loose at a set time. Abailable starts with the sound of two musicians dragging crates of jumbled sound to the edge of a hillside: old Casio keyboards, toy synthesisers, MIDI trigger pads, spaghettis of patching cable and jack lead. 3, 2, 1, go. They spill them out. Drum machines clatter and bounce. Synthesisers grunt as they slam against jutting rocks on the way down. It’s a reckless cascade of pattering and tumbling, interjected by sudden bursts of gushing wound, riding the downward slope all the way to the bottom (wherever that may be). Everything fast becomes caked in the fuzz of bad wiring. Some of the sockets and cabling take an irreparable beating on the way down.

Even when the jam tempers itself into a steady rhythm (midway through the 14 minutes of “Pararryos”), the duo are still dizzy. Loops of alien lullaby try to capsize the underlying tempo, while pitches bend like towers in precarious sway, retaining a somersaulting nausea even when the foundations have started to level out. There are no beginnings, no uprights, no edges. Just an endless alternating tilt of slippery vertices, pedals activated upside-down, lubricated concrete chutes funnelling me round in Mobius loops. By the time “En Las Cuevas” rolls round, the duo’s crates of assorted noise are nearly empty; each shake of the box dislodges a little shard of hi-hat or a sticky slug of electronic processing, knocking intermittently against the slope. The energy remains reckless even when the soundscape turns sparse. In my mind, the duo barely look at eachother the whole time. Less talk, more spillage.