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  • Filed under: Review
  • 11/20/2013

White Visitation Ancestors

White Visitation (a.k.a. Nicolas Guerrero) is an artist from Mexico City whose music is not especially classifiable. Guerrero offers elements of dub techno, but, crucially, executes them with a refreshing simplicity. (Dub techno is frequently maligned for being plodding and overproduced.) He also spices his tracks with organic instrumentation, often in unlikely (but rarely jarring) ways. The producer surfaced on the Opal Tapes compilation Cold Holiday last winter, and had his self-released cassettes Tape 1 and Tape 3 sold through the RVNG Intl. online shop (there's a third called Dubs), but Ancestors is the first time he has actually put out a record on a label. Its three tracks are in line with the material on those prior efforts.

The Opal Tapes connection is a bit of a red herring, as Guerrero's music is generally smoother and more expansive than that label's signature crusty sound. The RVNG connection makes a bit more sense. That label's Blondes offer perhaps the closest contemporary analogue to this music, best evidenced on Ancestors' slow-burn finale "Blood Revision." Building on a framework of unpolished kick drums and languid, elongated lines, Guerrero steadily overlays chords and simple percussive flourishes. It is only when he introduces an open hi-hat halfway through that one realizes how much is roaring at once. Using an easy switch to catalyze a teeming foundation is a very Blondes technique, and so is the way Guerrero pushes the track thrillingly further, toward a climax that is more suggested than attained. "Permanent Swing" is more subdued, and everything seems to echo from its pulsing center: drowsy organ, oscillating hi-hats, splinters of guitar. Again, all of it seems to be awaiting a force, namely a kick drum, to culminate, but Guerrero dashes expectation by tailing it off into a foggy, unrelated hip-hop loop. "Home" hits on a different touchstone—Burger/Ink's seminal Las Vegas LP. It's a sustained, trance-inducing thruster, marked by the rustling of a twangy, dusty guitar, the type of which popped up several times on that LP. With its linear plotting, "Home" sounds like a track that was made for the open road. That said, much like its counterparts, it's an accomplished piece that speaks to Guerrero's potential as a purveyor of the driving, visceral, and sensual.

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