Originally Published in May 2004
Alejandra & Aeron
THE SCOTCH MONSTERS
On The Scotch Monsters Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman, who run Barcelona’s Lucky Kitchen label, rework this selection for the third time (earlier versions were presented in installation format – “Revisionland” presented in Scotland and curated by Diskono – and a limited vinyl run on Germany’s Bottrop-Boy) in the form of sixteen tracks. None is longer than four minutes and each is dedicated to an individual spirit entity, and they combine to form a larger narrative. Softl Music’s Frieda Luczak creates exquisitely simplified CD sleeves folded in and around like a brain teaser, kind of a peek-a-boo pop-up book (here a muted Day-Glo orange) with no real way in unless you destroy the jacket. Compellingly secretive. So was the installation, in which, in accordance with Scottish folklore, the duo buried mushroom shaped speakers that relayed their field recordings and atonal static directly into the soil, a forceful electronic barrier to ward off evil spirits with names such as The Red Caps, Trooping Fairies and The Gray Man. There’s something holistic and wise in Salinas and Bergman’s deconstruction of their work for presentation, a distance that throws into relief the creativity of the composition, which mixes an organic, handmade love of sound – a baby cries, water runs, random chimes tinkle, cowbells clang – with the eerie whistling inventions of the laptop. Call it fictional docu-audio. The primitive nature of The Scotch Monsters is engrossing in its depth, tribally poignant and totally conceptual.