Rocio Zavala, Invisible Miracles, United States, Monastral, MON007 limited edition cassette (2022)
Currently based in Chicago, Mexican visual / sound artist Rocio Zavala recently compiled various recordings and live performances she made in Chicago and Hidalgo (Mexico) over the past several years into her debut album “Invisible Miracles”. As far as I know, all the instruments (including synthesisers and zither) she uses on these recordings are those she built herself and which often integrate light and electricity from the human body as modulators. Exploring the full range of these instruments, in combination with field recordings, samples and improvisation, and drawing on a variety of personal inspirations and experiences, Zavala creates brooding and hypnotic atmospheric works that draw the listener deep into their domains which turn out to be huge and expansive.
The individual tracks are not long but while they last, they are eerie, incredibly mesmerising beings with the power to suspend time so that five or six minutes seem like five or six hours. The later tracks in particular – the droning “Looming over Azra” with its curious underwater alien gibberish in the background and the near-screaming “Interparalis” with the guitar feedback streams – really do rearrange your brain cells and by the time you are done with these tracks (tracks 6 and 7 respectively out of eight in total), you won’t be quite the same person you were before. Your head can feel amazingly clear and light! (A secondary career as a therapist might be beckoning for Zavala.) On the other hand some of the early pieces are so short they really could have been stitched together for a long work that could have had the additional effect of changing people’s moods and consciousness as one recording passes into the next.
This album of incredible miracles (truly!) deserves a much wider release on other formats, not just as cassette and digital releases.