Téster de violencia. Diseño: Jennifer Ancízar / Magazine AM:PM.
Téster de violencia. Diseño: Jennifer Ancízar / Magazine AM:PM.

The scratched record: Téster de Violencia

4 minutos / Carlos M. Mérida

27.08.2020 / Worn-out record,  Reviews

There are two images in Apple Light, the fourth track to this masterpiece, that one should not allow oneself to go over in this dark time of pandemic if one wants to keep his nerves in order. The first evokes: "a clear street / where there is nothing left / where only the rain will return ..."; and the other is the first stanza of the song: “I know that I am alive and I fly at rest / drinking the lymph of loneliness. / While the world is sinking / I no longer want this lactal cross ”.

It's hard for me to talk about this album. It seems to me that whatever I say will be scarce. What is here is the invasion of feeling; a musical, poetic and sound offensive that does not give respite, that pushes us and pushes us until we verify the cliff behind us; a “borderline emotional instance”, using the words of Spinetta himself when he described what it was like for him to have Cerati as a guest at his concert of the Eternal Bands. An album that flirts with perfection, that does not bore no matter how much it is listened to, always susceptible to a new reading, universally usable.

We know it from the beginning, since it breaks the affectionate and playful sound of the keyboards of the Mono Fontana in Lejísimo, that it becomes acid in Al ver verás, which does not mean a significant alteration of the palate, but it does prepare it, by contrast, to later receive the fresh melody in the morning that El Flaco sings in El marcapiel.

It gives me tremendous joy to find myself in songs (and in any work, really) with ideas that have always harassed me, those that we believe are ours and that no one else has thought about, as if the ideas had an owner, as if they were even more than a thicket of chemical reactions and electrical impulses in the brain. This is what happens to me with Three Keys and the following notion: where are the things that are lost?

I'm not just talking about objects, but also about people, places, sensations, smells, flavors. It is a very great distress that of not knowing what became of these common entities that once surrounded us, we lost for whatever reason and it is impossible to trace. And, of course, what is behind that restlessness is the human longing for continuity; the stupid and powerless, but natural pretense of omniscience from which man cannot escape; the man wanting to be God, needing the metaphor, because it does not serve him to live alone with himself.

El Flaco tells us in Tres llaves: "What is seen, loved, lost, everything waits meekly there", and returns to this idea almost 20 years later, on the album Pan (Universal Music, 2006), when he sentences: "All the things that are lost are in a bag God." Silvio also turned the matter around in his beautiful Where are they going, there he sings: “What have my old shoes turned into? Where did they go to give so many leaves from a tree?

Identification is one of the keys to emotion: you like it when the other thought about the same thing as you, or said something that you hadn't thought about before, but about what, as you do, you like to think about. It is an essentially harmless, humble, candid, childish process, and it is in the opposite zone to pedantry and boasting, because it is nothing more than the celebration of a shared idea. It is not necessary to agree, it is enough to have been there at least once, to know the terrain, for it to occur.

I won't leave without first talking about La bengala perdida, the most massive song on this album. Here the emotion does not come to me only by identification, also by a simpler fact: the recognition of talent and uniqueness. The tear jumps as a consequence of the question-claim: how is it possible that someone in this world is so good? There is not a song, nobody's, there is no music that I like more than this. So much yes, many, but no more. You have to hear Skinny singing: "... and the spiral that will take me is no better than all these turns that I did, looking for a sunrise." There I stayed. That is my emotional top, and then the heart attack comes. I don't know about the other things, look for me there in that verse when I get lost.

Carlos M. Mérida

Oidor. Coleccionista sin espacio. Leguleyo. Temeroso de las abejas y de los vientos huracanados.

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