Maybe I’ll find some words later to talk about this album. But until now I’ve just been blown away by the quality of this electronic work that fits perfectly with Subtext Records, the label run by James Ginzburg, half of Emptyset. Since the release of Clear Stones by Fis&Throne in 2017, I’ve been waiting for something from the label that can set the bar as high in terms of electronics work, even if Clear Stones is an electroacoustic release. Of course the Label has offered us some nice releases in the meantime, but this one slapped me from the first listening. Strongly noisy and heavily loaded in low frequencies, this album is not for novice electronics lovers! But the insiders will appreciate the melodious side of this release, delicately abstract at times as well as its subtle viceral aspect. It’s an album you’ll appreciate if you’re fans of pure electronics. anyhow, I mark this release that will undoubtedly be found in the best releases of this year.

Read more about Ego De Espinhos by Goncalo Penas

Continuing Subtext’s exploratory electronics and devastating sonics is the expansive Ego De Espinhos, the debut full-length from twenty-two year old Porto, Portugal-based artist Gonçalo Penas. Described by Penas as a series of “self-exorcisms,” Ego De Espinhos is the cathartic outcome of a highly introspective process. Shaped by opposing forces and instincts, the LP touches on themes that are at once intimate, yet omnipresent. Splendor confronts destruction; id confronts super-ego. Created solely with digital instruments designed and built by the artist, Ego De Espinhos is the result of Penas’ improvisations. Tracks such as “Introdução, Umbigo” and “Tecto Falso” were recorded in one take, and evidence a stark, dramatic emotional palette. The release begins as Penas chooses to reject rigidities, customs and conventions of experimental electronic music. Of his process, Penas says: “Personally, I feel that creation should come from a completely free act of will. It is a place where there should be no rules, no expectations, no rights and no wrongs.” In Ego De Espinhos, Penas turns away from his own technical background, and towards a journey of forward experimentation. This follows his education in Music Production and Technologies at Porto’s School of Music and Performing Arts. For the first time, he finds the freedom to articulate himself sincerely, unearthing beauty and acceptance amidst wreckage and devastation. Press report