Album Reviews

Rocio Zavala: Invisible Miracles

The Chicago-based experimentalist releases her debut LP.

Over the past 18 months, Chicago label, Monastral, have provided a plethora of interesting releases, and not just in the experimental space, but in the sphere of new music.

Last year, highlights included Allen Moore’s Lived a deviL and P.M. Tummala’s Abstractions in Meera, with the label’s rich vein of form continuing in the way of Mexican artist, Rocio Zavala.

Based in Chicago for some time now, Zavala’s debut album, Invisible Miracles, is a work that continues the ascendency of Monastral in their bid to unveil niche artists, giving voice to those that would otherwise remain completely under the radar.

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Consisting of a series of recordings and live performances made in Chicago and Hidalgo, Mexico over the last five years, Invisible Miracles is said to be a work connecting the space between spirituality and science.

All performed on instruments built by Zavala herself (not limited to synthesizers and zither), Invisible Miracles is a cathartic journey of the state of consciousness, with a wide array of samples, field recordings and loops.

Rocio Zavala - Invisible Miracles

With the piercing thrum of opener, Root Drone, and the wonky blur of Blue Violet, Zavala guides us through the tangled outer worlds. Both are the kind of compositions that form in the mind through meditation, which is said to be another inspiration behind these recordings. And it’s telling.

The heaving shifts in frequency during Light Body and Looming Over Azra are like the white light one sees on their voyage to the other side. It’s like a union between peace and horror, and Zavala captures it like no other.

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With grinding loops and a motorik blur, penultimate track, Interparalis, is the outcast of the bunch, seemingly reverse engineered and arriving all the way from another orbit. It’s almost like Zavala is throwing her listeners off the scent but, in truth, it’s yet another facet that explores the depths of the mind purely through sound.

Which leads into How Much Matter, the closing piece that could almost be mistaken for something Sunn O))) has recently put to tape with Randall Dunn. Here, though Zavala feminises the drone, with gentle ripples once again feeding into the meditative state.

Oscillating through varying states of the mind, Zavala’s untethered interpretations in the world of experimentation are some of the most dreamscape-orientated etched to tape this year. It’s another boon for Monastral who, over the last 12 months, have experienced many. With Rocio Zavala’s Invisible Miracles, they have unearthed yet another gem.

Invisible Miracles is out now via Monastral. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

5 replies on “Rocio Zavala: Invisible Miracles”

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