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Sometimes you know it’s coming, sometimes it’s unexpected, but the time to hang your boots will always come. It’s better when you have total control, even better if you end up on a high (or on a low). After seven years of sonic interferences, calibrating the soundscape of field recordings and helping to recreate the old sounds of today, Gonzo is retiring from music. It’s a goodbye, yeah, and a well-crafted one.
But Ruído(s) doesn’t sound like an intentional one. You won’t listen to it on any of the thirteen tracks that scavenge for a solution in the space between ambient music and field recordings. You won’t feel it in the intense connection between human and natural sounds and how sometimes everything oscillates in opposite states of mind. You won’t even read it in the intense, but subtle, humor present in some of the pieces. You won’t, because it’s not an intentional goodbye. You only know it is, because you’re reading this.
What is it then? It’s a celebration of random sound. How can you experience something scholastic and, simultaneously, deeply hilarious? Just think about the amazing triad formed by A Fuga dos Grilos, Degredado(s) and Cantiga Parva. First, you’re blessed with six minutes that build up on the idea that sound can be an intense religious experience, echoes going back and forth to create a fantastic Boiler Room feeling (one populated with raving Gonzos doing dabs in front of the camera) that eventually ends up with a cinematic touch: someone saying the title of the song out loud. One second after we are into the Flying Lizards world, with two songs that shake any pretentious seriousness of the previous track.
Is it serious or not? It is. But it doesn’t have to be. In Ruído(s) Gonzo recounts pop / electronic history through field recordings and weird-soft beats. More than compiling his seven-year history, Gonzo is more worried to understand where he’s leaving his ideas, Caretaker style. Speaking of Caretaker, Leyland Kirby should think about reviving Caretaker and do a whole album around Brilhante Cortejo: it’s haunted ballroom in a ‘cracked’ nutshell.
As the album progresses and the need to revisit it grows, it becomes clearer(?) that Ruído(s) is more than an artist self-indulging on his work – in a very good manner. It’s also a condensed catalog of Portuguese music and its sounds, a circular trip down the memory lane of a forgotten country and its landscape. Ruído(s) is a goodbye to a country and its traditions. It does it without sulking but with the most respectful loud laugh - the Gonzo way.