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Émile Zener

Contraluz (3CD)

Label: Critique of Everyday Life

Format: 3xCD

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

*150 copies triple compact disc limited edition* Contraluz is a journey in three parts - a voyage through the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and a few places that may have been on the map once before but certainly aren’t on any reputable ones now. A major new work from Émile Zener, recorded in his Barcelona studio in early 2023, Contraluz spends three engrossing hours submerged in the acrid soil, salty water, speculative financial markets, and submarine consciousness of Earth as it finds itself in the 2020s. Zener, also known as Gunnar Haslam, established the label Critique of Everyday Life with his label partner William Selman in 2020 as a platform for sound art and contemporary musique concrète. As bourgeois society embraced an inward focus on the self as palliative care in response to continually escalating societal crises, Selman and Zener’s work directly engages with themes of global capital flow, collectivity, and environmental collapse.

Contraluz grew out of experiments done by Zener attempting to recreate economic models on his synthesizer - experiments he detailed in a series of videos he called “La Synthèse Humaine.” Looking at his Serge modular synthesizer as an analog computer, musical themes and passages began to emerge from imitations of economic systems, marine ecosystems, and weather patterns - textures and sound objects which form the backbone of all three parts of Contraluz.

Throughout its three distinct parts - further subdivided into seven Cantos - Contraluz threads these synthetic maps of maritime and terrestrial economic flow with field recordings taken across the Caribbean and Mediterranean. From the captured underground electrical currents of Contraluz I to the otherworldly hallucination of the Isola Degli Specchi (“Island of Mirrors”) in Contraluz III, Contraluz is a dense labyrinth of intertwined geographic locations and abstract spaces.

Cat. number: CEL-05
Year: 2023