‘audionaut: requiem for cats’ (ele013 / ae0013.5) consists of three long-form meditations in sound by the Miami-based polymath Omar Angulo (aka Audionaut). Recorded between 1996 and 1998, Audionaut’s experiments repurpose primitive electronic instruments to create pieces that evolve slowly, bringing listeners into a space that is at once warm and extreme. The tracks are built from layers of real-time improvisations that push the audio into blurry malfunctions and imperfections; while simple structures make each track cohesive, close listening reveals multiple patterns as they are developed and abandoned.
Avoiding the conventional use of samples and tape loops as musical materials, the recordings capture the intimate, process-based explorations of a brilliant autodidact: microcassette field recordings of a colossal, cube-shaped metal sculpture shifting on its axis; supersonic frequencies emitted by television and video remote controls captured, transformed, and made audible by an induction coil microphone; phonograph needles dropping on vintage LPs designed to test a stereo’s hi-fi capabilities; cassette tape artifacts densely layered through intuitive randomization of movements between Play, Rewind, and Fast Forward functions; the sounds of a damaged, primitive Casio sampler keyboard reviving a disposable, obsolete technology; melodies created through physical contact with the ends of audio cables; et cetera.
But the album’s lo-fi experimental approach—replete with warm tape noise and artful glitches—should not obscure the intimate nature of the process: there is a depth of focus and emotion at the heart of these recordings, which were made without any intention to release them to the public.
‘audionaut: requiem for cats’ is a joint release by Angulo’s own Audio Electric imprint and David Font's Elegua Records. Following the abstract DIY approach of both labels, the physical album incorporates artwork and design from Angulo and Font in a handmade, limited edition package that includes a screen-printed case, an 18 x 10.5” screen-printed paper insert signed and numbered by the artist, and a full-color cellophane insert.