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Babe, Terror - Teghnojoyg

Review

Teghnojoyg by Babe, Terror

A portrait of the artist

If you missed 2020's Horizogon then the disorientating mish-mash of Babe, Terror's experimental sound may leave you temporarily discombobulated. The Brazilian artist's blend of Ambient and Classical tracks overlaid with wonky, out-of-tune sonics is not easy to appreciate. For me it felt unhinged and made me uneasy, which was, ironically, the goal: to bring attention to the ideological apocalypse of his homeland. In fairness, it grew on me though.

So Claudio Katz Szynkier (aka the man behind Babe, Terror) is back with another celebration of Brazil's enigmas. While Horizogon fed from artists like The Caretaker and William Basinski, the Teghnojoyg angle is like a portal between places in the electronic world of his past and the present silent dawns of São Paulo, inspiration coming in the form of regular rhythms (but not specifically Techno, more like wonky Disco). He employs the same technique of mashing together disparate styles to make a new, agitating sound but the result is even weirder and more extreme than Horizogon.

Breaking down his approach, on each track Szynkier begins with a first layer, perhaps a piano riff or an orchestral sequence, introduces a second layer, like a drum track played backwards, and then adds a third (or fourth) layer on top, usually something challenging like Jazz synthesiser notes or Acid squelches or random percussive sounds. It's a crude reduction but a useful way to understand the structure of his music and better appreciate the concept involved.

The concept is dealing with mental trauma. In recent years he faced hearing issues that impacted his ability to make music. And then there was the personal (and national) consequences of Covid-19 (Brazil being one of the worst-hit countries). Finally, throw in the effects of Bolsonaro's tyrannical government and you understand that he's had a lot of shit to deal with. In making the album Szynkiers described it as:

very much about memory and forgetting, and about facing that trauma

So each track is composed of layers, with each layer representing a different period in the artist's life. When combined the memories begin to merge, leaving a monstrous result at times. Periods of clarity and happiness occur (i.e. when just one or two layers are present) but are quickly scribbled out by the ensuing mental trauma. It's understandably chaotic to listen to but also completely unique. (I can't think of anyone else making music like this today.) Teghnojoyg is a portrait of the artist.

If you only listen to one track

Mesopothance

Label

Self released

Artist website

Babe, Terror

Release date

25 Aug 2023

Tracklist

  1. Congosymphag
  2. Mesopothance
  3. Casa das Canoagens
  4. Nepturnal Amazoic
  5. Archeoteghnure
  6. Casa das Guineas
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