Exposé Online banner

Ale Hop — Apophenia
(Buh Records BR127, 2019, LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-10-21

Apophenia Cover art

Ale Hop is Peruvian expat Alejandra Cardenas, now living, studying, and working in Berlin. She is a researcher, artist, and experimental instrumentalist, who makes her living creating film scores and music for dance and theater performances. Apophenia is her third release on Buh records, featuring a dark and dreamy ambient sound with an experimental edge, essentially a solo project using keys, electronics, voice, percussion and guitar, with plenty of looping, distortion and effects. One might not even be able to determine the instruments being used to create the sounds on many of the album’s eight tracks, and I’m certain she intends it to be that way, though via a quick visit to her website, the curious listener can find clips of many of her solo performances in the last few years that will reveal some of those secrets. Lets turn it upside down and start with the closing track “Marches” - while throughout most of the album the percussion (whether created on actual instruments or via computer) tends to be fairly random and irregular, through much of this one there is a clear cadence that comes and goes throughout the piece amid all the electronic sounds and mysterious twisted distortions, and interestingly there are plenty of asynchronous percussive sounds and vocalizations below the surface that make things even more interesting. “El Beso” (The Kiss) is another piece that pits electronic sounds against a stringed instrument with random percussion and squeaks and bleeps. The album’s longest cut, at almost seven minutes is “Lima,” Ale Hop’s birthplace. The music here is an interesting deep dive into an electronic maelstrom with some field recordings audible just below the surface, though as the piece continues there is more and more synth and electronics blurring all the forms and figures in a chaotic scramble of noise until it turns into what sounds like a war zone, with loud crashes made by pounding on the body of her electric guitar. “Side Effects” offers a whirring electronic backdrop to her spoken voice samples, some discernible and others intentionally distorted via vocoder (or something like that), a really interesting and highly experimental romp. The title track (actually the full title is “Apophenia (Cielo Azul)” ) is one of those noisy edgy pieces where one wonders what the source of the sound is, with a result so distorted, some elements being cyclical and others seeming completely random. The entire album is a truly engulfing collection of radical sonic experiments that are nonetheless quite listenable. I can recommend this highly to the intrepid sonic explorers among us.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Ale Hop / Alejandra Cardenas

More info
http://buhrecords.bandcamp.com/album/br127-ale-hop-apophenia

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Judy Dyble - Talking with Strangers – For those of you not old enough to remember, Judy Dyble was Fairport Convention’s original vocalist who left after their first album. She then hooked up with Ian McDonald and the original line...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues