TONALAMOTL: Mo(ve)mentsum

sedcd033 | Released in 2003 | Ltd Edition 500 copies | $10 Mo(ve)mentsum

Hailing from San Antonio, the trio created their music with standard rock instrumentation, in addition to toys, tapes, and found objects. As important for the sound was the audible aleatoric accidents that occurred around the group as they played in the space of the moment. Their earliest effort was released in a miniscule edition LP by the mysterious Bobby J. label out of Austin, Texas in 1998. For this release, the group explored the use of keyboards and contact mics in addition to its normal set-up of drums and guitars. All the music contained herein was recorded while visiting the state capital and is therefore, in some nomenclatural way, about it.

“33” is from their own record release party at the record store of the same name, recorded in December of 1997. It combines the store doors’ alarms with the coughs of flu season, random phone calls, bowed cymbals, piercing wind gusts, dog whistles, and a souvenir from China and whips it into a near-freezing sound flurry.

“#34” was recorded at the Movements Studio in downtown Austin in the summer of 1998. It is named after a once-prominent University of Texas running back (and subsequent NFL star), and is a very long run up the middle. Dense and frantic near the line, it soon breaks free into a drift space where each individual movement can be discerned. It then rumbles back into the present for touchdown.

“I35” is from the same day, and takes its title from a stretch of downtown Austin highway. It also includes a bit of dialogue between the group and Austin avant-garde guitarist Rick Reed as they discuss yet another famous Texas trio.

All music was recorded live and features minimal cross-fading between the three pieces.

Three long extended explorations using percussion, electronics, home made gadgets, etc. Certainly this has roots in the likes of Morphogenesis, AMM and even Polwechsel but this is American music, from Texas no less, so check your pale complexions and copies of “Les Particules Elementaires” at the door.

some press clips:

The most interesting aspect of Tonalamotl’s music is the way the group seems to confront the performance space. Much of the sound on Mo(ve)mentsum feels gathered via contact mics, scraping surfaces or mining the air around the diligent performers, who move with the frenzied attention of electrons in an atomic cage.” -Andrew Culler, Brainwashed