Album Review

(collection) Four Studies For A Human Portrait (Tribute To Francis Bacon), CD, Vital Records

ophelia necro   8/22/2007   A Library

Francis Bacon was a modern surrealist painter (1909-1992). He created a significant body of work from 1929 until his death (of a heart attack) at the age of eighty-two. This collection (released in 2005) is a tribute to him, each of the 4 artists on the collection have chosen their favorite Bacon painting to create a unique sound collage.
The first track is a piece by Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk of Sweden, self described as a dark ambient, drone, research project. The piece is inspired by Bacon’s 1955 painting “Portrait of a Cardinal”. Bjorkk’s piece is 10 minutes and forty-nine seconds. It is very dark. I can imagine being in a place where very bad things are happening, unspeakable things but they are in the distance for now. Vocal manipulations, pitch shifting. Did someone slip something in my drink? Everything is slowing down…are those maracas or a rattle? 5 minutes in we are trying to find a way out of this horrible place. My legs feel heavy and I can’t see so good. A cracking fire? Go towards the light, droney and rhythmic.
Track two is a 10 minute, 48 second piece by Japan’s experimental electronic noise project CONTAGIOUS ORGASM (aka Hiroshi Hashimoto) inspired by Bacon’s 1950 painting “Fragment of a Crucifixion”. This piece instantly puts you in a very creepy place where the gruesome sounds of raw flesh being sliced to the bone, breathing, wet footsteps, movement, muffled sounds of a television or voices, rattling chains, a woman’s moans. 3 minutes into the piece it starts getting weirder with some suspenseful keyboard loop effects, buzzing, more breathing and backward masking. 7 minutes it sounds like someone is having fun and it’s probably not you in less you enjoy the sounds of “falling spiders” from the old arcade game Centipede, metal scrapings and more audio torture manipulations of noise ending in slurping. Why have you forsaken me?
Track three is a 10 minute, thirty three second piece by HENTAI ( aka Jakob Nybo from Denmark) inspired by Bacon’s 1946 “Painting”. Mechanical manipulations, bringing to mind the inner workings of some machine, the monotony of a factory. Something happens 5 minutes in, scary pounding rhythms, screaming? or is it the sounds of pigs squealing? It quiets down again and then back to the machine. Pounding rhythms joined once again by horses? pigs? chickens? squealing and grunting noises, then quiet again back to the machine and carcasses swaying in the sun. I feel that this piece probably sounds the most like the painting it is inspired by would sound.
The final track is a 12 minute, 16 second piece by Scandinavian experimental musician LASSE MARHAUG based on Bacon’s 1978 painting “Figure In Movement” after the previous tracks this seems a lot more pleasant (the painting itself is the most pleasant visually of the 4 as for content and color scheme) but still has an noisey element, with static bursts, droney, rumbling and monotonous electronic manipulations. It ends with the sound of wind when it hits a microphone and a high pitched buzzing sound, reminding me a lot of the old tv show The Outer Limits.

Creepy ambient noise.

For more info about Francis Bacon please visit www.francis-bacon.cx
Ophelia Necro

you heard it 36 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 615 days ago, lexi glass played Painting (1946)
  • 720 days ago, lexi glass played Fragment of a Crucifixion (1950)
  • 2081 days ago, Lord Gravestench played Portrait of a Cardinal 1955 (Excerpt)
  • 2701 days ago, Fox Populi played Fragment of a Crucifixion (1950)
  • 2709 days ago, Captain Trips played Portrait of a Cardinal (1955)
add comment
Your comment may be revised by KFJC editors.
Copyright © 2023 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File