The field of experimental electronic music is a large one, and even if you feel like you know much about it, there’s always something or someone new to discover. And not just new, there’s a myriad of interesting projects and characters who have been around long enough to be stalwarts of the genre, without you ever noticing. One such individual is Fernando Cerqueira, one time founder of SPH tape and record label, currently running the label Thisco. He is also the sole member of Rasalasad, a very peculiar ambient/experimental project. He was previously unknown to us, but to many others he was probably not.
Magnethism is a collaboration EP of Rasalasad and two other bands. It is part of an ongoing series of collaborations, called THISOBEY, between in-house artists of Thisco records and various invited guests. This particular one was recorded together with Von Magnet and Wild Shores (the latter of which we won’t link, since the webpage initiates a file download). It offers droning, slightly noisy ambient, with periodical beats and some samples and spoken word thrown into the mix rather seamlessly.
Faint electronic crackling, droning synthesizer chords and sweeping electronic noises form a solid soundscape, somewhere between the harmonic and the menacing. The music and mood is very similar to Deutsch Nepal at their most ambient, except this is more ambivalent. The darkness and style of a track like “Gouge Free Market” is certainly present on Magnethism, but it is tempered by other nuances.
The EP contains only one track, making for a total playing time of 17 minutes. During this time we get to experience a variety of subdued but quite powerful sound constructions. The spoken word vocals, of which there are both male and female, are deceptively soothing as they whisper and drone on about “aliens and misfits”, something that “combines several sets of values” and a number of other subjects which we haven’t really been able to make sense of. It seems to have something to do with technology, perhaps information technology in particular, but that’s speculation on our part. See if you do better, and get a dose of pleasant electronic, soft industrial while you’re at it.