Exposé Online banner

Marc Barreca — Subterrane
(Palace of Lights PoL 02 | 2010, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Subterrane Cover art

You know you’ve entered the modern era when the sole musician on a CD is credited with “acoustic and synthesized sources” — which in this case apparently involves a lot of field recordings. Whatever the sources, the sounds are manipulated to the point of unrecognizability, be they shimmering high streams, crinkly erratic mechanical noises, low warbling tones, ringing gong tones, jittery operatic insects — use your imagination. The listener will find an occasional anchor with the sound of a violin, accordion or percussion, clips Barreca has repurposed from his own previous recordings, reprocessed for new settings. At times, there is a serene ambient mood, but Barreca is not interested in sustaining any one texture for an extended time; it’s all about change and mutation, with non-melodic “themes” folding over one another like an origami project in time-lapse. Which is not to say it fails in an ambient context — in fact, it might function best in a background role, with the classic qualification that it rewards attention given in whatever degree the listener desires. It’s a fascinating entry into its field, and quite pleasant in a suitable context.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Marc Barreca

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

U Totem - Strange Attractors – This, the long awaited follow-up to U Totem's eponymous debut, features the band's original lineup (Sanjay Kumar, Dave Kerman, Eric Johnson, Emily Hay, and James Grigsby) as well as numerous guests,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues