A site-specific recording sporting a straightforward approach that i’ve grown to love in the works of GoncÌ§alo Cardoso. An album of modern day exotica, a genre i usually pretty much dislike, yet Cardoso steers his vehicle easily aside the trapdoors and potholes.Combining found sounds, sparse playing and field recordings he creates a world that both invokes Treasure Island, and An Essay On Exoticism. Indeed questions are raised. But especially sincere emotions are shared. Cardoso acts both like the journalist and the aesthetic. Sometimes he just registers, as being the observer at the sideline, sometimes he alters and collages the material into new worlds.
The isle of Unguja is the great scene of this album. We hear the sound of water, suddenly interrupted by beautiful chorals or the strumming of string instruments, a drum beat. We hear the local fisherman talk while the shortwave radio becomes the symbol of the white man seeking truth and direction in the tropics. Its dial as a tool to reflect. This album invokes a certain nostalgia for age-old enthnographies, like a romantic letter from the tropics. A hymn of solitude, in awe of the nonhuman and human elements. Like photography, through various compositions - stills from a moment - to shed light upon the unique - universal process of a place.
"All the recordings were made during our month long stay in a beach hut in the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, Unguja aka Zanzibar island. Unlike other beach/island locations the scenery there was very dynamic and ever changing. The colours would change with every tide creating a new washed out landscape everyday.
There are a lot of recordings of tides (they have 3km tides everyday!), of walking around in low tide, of the tidal waves banging against our hut at night, of sailing in wooden dhows, fishermen talking and sand washing their dhows, of walking at night in the village as well as some FM/AM radio improvs. A lot of what you hear was done on the spot with some minor adjustments done later. (G F Cardoso)"
GoncÌ§alo Cardoso is the man behind the prolific Discrepant recordlabel and composes under his own name and the moniker Gonzo. He recently traveled in Middle and Southern America.