The meeting of four skilled improvising musicianstwo from Lisbon, Portugal, and two from San Franciscois cause for celebration on these nine ephemeral pieces. Surprisingly, Our Faceless Empire
is not a live date; instead, it was made in an Oakland, California studio in 2006. By the very nature of this session, an audienceor any outside noise or distractionmight take away from the overall aura of its sounds.
The meeting emphasizes both the acoustic and the electric. Portuguese players Ernesto Rodrigues (viola) and Manuel Mota (electric guitar) join Californians Ernesto Diaz-Infante (steel-string acoustic guitar) and Gino Robair's electrified surfaces and voltage experiments.
The tracks accentuate the quartet's interplay, shying away from the all too common use of tension-and-release and, instead, relying more on a calming equanimity of texture, and sometimes making sound for sound's sake. The players tend to pulse, allow for energies to cycle through and opt for responding to each others' thoughts.
With sounds are almost more visual than aural, Our Faceless Empire sparks the imagination by conjuring forms, colors and perceptions of touch rather than sound. Perhaps it is the energy fields created by the intersection of the acoustic and electricor, maybe, the Portuguese and the North Americans.
Personnel: Ernesto Diaz-Infante: steel-string acoustic guitar; Manuel Mota: electric guitar; Gino Robair: energized surfaces, voltage made audible; Ernesto Rodrigues: viola.