I’m rarely going to pass up an opportunity to write about gabby fluke-mogul, but even with that said this new collaboration with bassist Amanda Irarrázabal is something special. Listening to RAYAS, I feel like I’m being pulled apart, muscle fiber by muscle fiber so that I can be reassembled as something new and spectacular.
fluke-mogul and Irarrázabal both bring out the rawest, most tactile character of their instruments. Together, there is a fluidity that grinds through the undergrowth like a sentient tunneling machine. Strings become gears and bows drill bits, all of them coalescing into an intimate sonic treatise on the physical nature of sound itself. Drones claw through hardened mud sculptures as if there are bodies trapped inside, gasping for air hoping for one last second of light.
The intensity with which both Irarrázabal and fluke-mogul coax unearthly guttural skree from their instruments seems impossible. Strike that, feels impossible. Beyond the technical prowess and antiphonal aural destruction is a fierce emotional juggernaut. Both artists give all of themselves to these moments, whether it’s the whispered incantations, trickling ticks and string taps, or full-blown sonic meltdown. RAYAS sounds like two artists, connected by an unspoken language, searching for any way to get something inside of them out into the world.
In one turn, Irarrázabal charts melodies at obtuse angles, and fluke-mogul follows at a higher register, the chase becoming the medium for processing and expression. A rhythmic jilt accentuates the climb, but in the thin air, the stretches quiet, and the warped plucks begin to carry more weight. Catching a breath is a rarity on RAYAS because as soon as the tension gets too strong, fluke-mogul and Irarrázabal are blasting back into the mines full bore to drag out every last survivor. This music is alive with euphoric catharsis ready to bowl over anything in its path. RAYAS is formidable; crucial.