Posts Tagged ‘Lorelle Meets The Obsolete’

Lorena Quintanilla on Música Nueva Latinoamericana 2

I’ve been a longtime fan of Mexican shoegaze duo Lorelle Meets the Obsolte, and when I’d heard that the band’s Lorena Quintanilla had a solo album forthcoming (her second, sadly I’d slept on the first) I was incredibly intrigued what would arise. J. Zunz sophomore LP is a haunted, complex record that pulls as much from industrial spaces as it does experimental and concrete nodes. The LP focuses keenly on Quintanilla’s voice — echoing through spaces that seem cavernous and dangerous in the same light. I asked Lorena to contribute a pick to the Hidden Gems series, quite anxious to hear what treasure she might unearth and I’m not in the least disappointed. She’s given light to a series of Latin American electronic music that’s been sorely lost from the cultural conversation. Her pick centers on the inclusion of Jacqueline Nova, with whom I was unfamiliar, but quickly became quite intrigued by. Read on to see how the record has come into Lorena’s life and the impact it’s had on her songwriting.

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J. Zunz

I’ve long had a soft spot for the warm blast of shoegaze pulsing off of Lorelle Meets the Obsolete. The Mexican band has been warping pop through the fuzz-fitted filter for the past few years and have only solidified their place in the evolving canon of the genre. Though this album is connected by membership, this is quite a different animal from the confines of The Obsolete. Out on her own for a second solo LP the band’s Lorena Quintanilla has pushed aside the gauzy caverns of her usual sound for something darker and full of danger. On Hibiscus she lets her voice free of its playground of effects and loose from the haze. Underneath her vocals, however, the record is seething with anxious synths and repetitive elements that are doused in a chemical burn. The LP bears a stark minimalism that speaks directly to her renewed interest in John Cage’s ethos of stripping sound to its basics.

Like her previous works, there’s still psychedelia here, but it’s a more internal expression, working psychological angles rather than explicit auditory gymnastics. There’s a feeling on the record of constantly waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, surroundings that feel like they’re tipped with poison intent. Quintanilla’s voice comes racing from all angles, panicked at times, soothing at others, but always like a whisper in the back of your head trying to make sense of the quasi-industrial prison you’ve found yourself trapped within. That the album is an extension of personal and political strife for Quintanilla, makes sense the more it rotates around the speakers (though this is a headphone record, if there ever was one). The ghosts in her songs aren’t able to be defeated hand to hand, but rather neuron to neuron, trapped in the inner confines of the mind and looking for a hatch. The record is bracing, vulnerable, disorienting, and daring. Not for the timid, but worth diving into again and again.





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J. Zunz – “Y”

A new solo album from Lorena Quintanilla comes packed with a harrowing video for first song “Y.” Quintanilla is better known as the Lorelle half of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, the shoegaze outfit that she’s maintained with Alberto González for the better part of the last decade. Under the name J. Zunz she’s exploring some similar atmospherics but carving well away from the some of the German Progressive and shoegaze territory that she’s been exploring over the past few years with The Obsolete. “Y” creeps in slow and menacing, building to an industrial blast of synth that’s corroded and cruel. In the same manner the clip grows from sparse images of Quintanilla to a violent end that’s as harsh as the music’s escalation. This skews much darker than her last solo outing under the J. Zunz name and seems poised to push her solo work further into the flickering floodlights. Loved what Lorena has long been laying down with LMTO, and this next chapter seems like a welcome evolution and departure. The LP, Hibiscus arrives August 21st from Rocket Recordings.



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Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – “Unificado (Pye Corner Audio Remix)”

Earlier in the year Guadalajara’s Lorelle Meets The Obsolete released one of their most potent records to date. It pulled them out of the murk a bit and into a crisper vision of shoegaze, dreampop, and scarred psychedelia. Perhaps as a reminder of that album’s prowess as we near the end of the year, the band has released a remix of the album’s darkly simmering “Unificado” by UK synth slinger Pye Corner Audio. The Ghost Box alum has been haunting the edges of horror soundtrack-style rev-ups of late, but here he’s all in for atmospherics. Taking the track’s airy creep and white-hot guitar and giving them a slinking makeover that utilizes Lorena Qintanilla’s vocals as not a harbinger of psychedelic fry, but as a conduit for tense cinematic sweat, this is a completely new side of LMTO. Still time to get into their latest if it has eluded you for the past year, and quite recommended that you do.



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Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

Mexican shoegazers Lorelle Meets The Obsolete have been something of a fixture on RSTB for some time, so it was great news when I got wind the band had knocked down much of their past writing habits, built an album largely around synths and started up their own imprint to release it. De Facto‘s a biting bit of tongue in cheek, given that this is anything but a stock Lorelle album. While it shares the band’s love of obfuscation and crackling walls of sound, the album is at once more experimental and more pop than they’ve ever let on before. The band broke away from the pervasiveness of a screaming guitar build and buried vocals on 2016’s Balance, but that still bore a pretty heavy footprint of where they’d been. De Facto cracks open the door slowly, with “Ana” creeping in on almost nothing at all, just a skeletal pulse and Lorena Quintanilla’s silken vocals. The track is a bit of a red herring, as the band immediately jettisons the restraint by the next track, pinning their dreampop to a pulsing beat and a sweaty pop pound before winding their way through stylistic nooks over the next seven tracks.

While they’ve long included their native tongue in their works, De Facto is also notable for being their first album to feature no trace of English and it feels like the band embracing themselves like never before. This is the unfiltered Obsolete, not afraid to walk away from the corner they’ve been painted into by years of expectation. There’s often been a squirm of discomfort in their songs, even when easing into the ether, but here it feels like they’re finally letting the tension melt and with it letting the listener melt along with them. The album pools in gossamer puddles that swell to flooded fields once the band flips the switch to deluge. Their unparalleled ease only makes the fuzzed payoffs more satisfying once they finally loosen the hatches here. With each listen, De Facto opens itself to more shimmering moments shoegaze/dreampop perfection. Both genres have long been maligned by a generation of half-assed accolytes, but Lorelle Meets the Obsolete prove that there’s still juice in the tank when its done without reservations.

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Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – “Lineas En Hojas”

Perennial RSTB favorite Lorelle Meets The Obsolete have a new album, De Facto, on the way in January and a hypnotic new video to get you excited for said album. The band plowed into the studio after touring their last album, Balance, and began a new process of writing that relied more on synths than guitars, an aesthetic shift for the band who’s often used the feedback-rich foundations of MBV and Jesus and Mary Chain as a starting point. “Lineas En Hojas” is gauzy and gazey at the same time, luxuriating in verses that are airy and, yes, decidedly synth heavy. They don’t throw out their distortion pedals and amps altogether though, as they surface again during the toughened chorus. The band pairs the song with a blissful beach walking video focusing on the pull of the waves. Be sure to check out the new album when it hits on Jan. 11th.

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