Born in Tijuana, Mexico, and ultimately ending up in Spain, Fernando Corona has found international recognition under his performing name of Murcof. Martes, his 2002 debut, aptly captures his unique and compelling sparse, minimalistic glitch tinged ambient music. Using a mixture of cut up rhythm sound, expansive textures, and samples of real instruments such as piano, cello and violin, Murcof creates a soundscape that often resembles a fractured symphony deconstructed into small parts with barely enough cohesion to hold together. The sound of Murcof seems as though it exists in an endless expanse, using reverb to envelope the listener. The usage of small segments of violin and cello to add momentary notes is a large part of Murcof's musical identity and a lot of the reason why Martes works in a genre where experimentation often ventures into maddening unlistenable outtakes.
The glitch aspects of the album mostly show up in the high frequency clicks and cuts, occasionally hitting a range that is uncomfortable. I can imagine electronic fans with pooches finding that their mutts will leave the house for a drink at the local watering hole during Martes. The rhythm instruments are often truncated and cut off, also minimizing the overall sound yet adding to the impact.
For the longtime readers of this particular website, the closest Murcof comes to a familiar band is Ulver, around the time of Perdition City, except considerably more deconstructed and fractured. Yet despite the deconstructed aspect of this music, Martes retains plenty of musicality and is an entirely listenable, haunting and moving album.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 02/2009