March 21, 2011

Mario Diaz de León on Wolf Eyes, Morbid Angel, and Musicians of Nechmaya, Algeria + MIRRORGATE Sneak

We're pleased to have Mario Diaz de León back in the house with another guest post, this time discussing three tracks that have inspired him as a composer and performer. We've attached audio of all three tracks - please purchase them if you like what you hear - plus some new music from Mario's noise/metal band MIRRORGATE. Without further ado, here are the words from Mario:

Wolf Eyes "Dog Jaw 1" (2004) [podcast][/podcast] Of Wolf Eyes' more ambient material, Dog Jaw is my favorite, released by Heresee in 2004.  The opening delay loop reminds me of the opening "photo flash" sound from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and immediately conjures a haunting atmosphere.  There's a shredding noise solo over the top of it.  The solo here can seamlessly dissolve into pure pummeling atmosphere, and then assume the role of a solo again.  The places i've listened to this record have also made a strong impression, once in the Egyptian rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and countless times in the dark at the West Nile space (RIP).

Morbid Angel
"God of the Forsaken" (2000)
My favorite song on my favorite Morbid Angel album, their most tripped out.  For me, the lyrics and music embody the best aspects of transgression and otherworldliness in death metal.  The machine-like precision of Pete Sandoval's drums is balanced by the guitars, which are more blurry and raw - technical but not overly precise.  The two solos here couldn't be more different, and create a contrast that is really special to me…the first one is atonal noise, like Eddie Van Halen's worst LSD nightmare.  The second, initiated by the phrase "now let them see thy world, immaculate", is more lyrical, somehow brutally tragic and beautiful.
Musicians of Nechmaya, Algeria
"Ballade Suivie De L'air De La Riveire Zenati"
The gasba flute is a rosewood flute that's played in Algeria and other parts of the Maghreb. When I started writing pieces like "Mansion", I had heard this flute used as accompaniment in songs by the Algerian singer Cheika Rimitti.  It has a really raw tone, you can hear lots of air and voice, and the music they play on it is intoxicating, hypnotic, and full of ornaments.  I had also heard Carson Garhart (Sejayno) play a bamboo flute he made himself, he makes a really gorgeous and raw sound.  I knew I wanted to write flute music with that kind of atmosphere.  In summer 2009, I found this CD (Gasba Flutes of North East Algeria), which is totally dedicated to the gasba flute, it's the only one I know that's in print.


As we've previously mentioned here, in addition to composing concert music, Mario plays guitar in the band MIRRORGATE. He's agreed to let us post a demo track for you all - check it out, and see if you can hear the influences described above. We do.

MIRRORGATE "Open (demo)" [podcast][/podcast]


If you like what you've read/heard, don't miss our LPR residency, which we'll be kicking off with a FREE concert of Mario’s music on Wednesday, March 30th.