Alfredo Costa Monteiro



[…] O mais recente deles é «Istmo», com a também catalã Ruth Barberán e o português radicado em Barcelona Alfredo Costa Monteiro, o mesmo trio que há alguns meses lançou «Atolón». São como que dois capítulos do mesmo romance, mas em pontos diferentes da intriga. De resto, esta é uma música (utiliza-se aqui o termo do modo mais genérico possível, dado que não é preocupação destes três artistas sonoros fazer música propriamente) de carácter multiforme e em progressão contínua, impossível de enquadrar numa moldura permanente.
Rui Eduardo Paes, JL


No less than six new releases on the Creative Sources label, placing the label right in the centre of improvised music. The first release is by Ferran Fages (acoustic turntable), Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion) and Ruth Barberan on trumpet. The latter plays her instrument as is common these days – say the Axel Dörner method, the instrument as an object. The accordion is played conventionally, well more or less that is. In two lenghty pieces, both recorded late 2003, this trio improvises through a somewhat noise related set of music, even in the more silent parts of the music. There is some intense playing going on, that is quite demanding for the listener, as well as for the performers I guess. Scratchy, noisy and intense. Nice work.
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly


Wirujacy stolik powrócil i po raz kolejny sluzy do przywolania tego, co zwykle, bedac niematerialne, jest nieuchwytne. Nie chodzi bynajmniej o wywolywanie duchów czy zjaw, lecz o stworzenie czterdziestu minut pierwszorzednej muzyki improwizowanej zakletej w dwa dosc
bolesnie trzeszczace nagrania.
Obslugiwany przez Ferrana Fagesa «acoustic turntable» wydobywa z drewna, styropianu, papieru i metalu porcje szumów, które zdaja sie byc równie rzeczywiste, jak tynk na scianie budynku, nie ustepujac mu w niczym chropowatoscia i gruboscia. Pokrywszy calosc warstwa akordeonowo-trabkowej farby – w tym miejscu nalezy wyjasnic, ze tym razem brzmienia ich isntrumentów sa duzo latwiej rozpoznawalne – Costa Monteiro i Barberán sprawili, ze powierzchnia (dzwieku) stala sie nie tylko solidna, ale i nadzwyczaj piekna.
«Istmo» to druga, po wydanej w ubieglym roku przez wloski Rossbin znakomitej plycie «Atolón», pozycja w dyskografii tria. Dwa nagrania, które zostaly na niej zamieszczone zarejestrowano w pazdzierniku i listopadzie 2003 r., czyli prawie dokladnie w tym samym czasie, co utwory, które zlozyly sie na poprzedni album. I choc w odróznieniu od wczesniejszych, te pochodza z koncertów, to róznice sa niewielkie i dotycza przede wszystkim nie tyle samej muzyki, co struktury pierwszego nagrania. Jest ono bowiem w mniejszym stopniu niz pozostale efektem wspólpracy calego tria. Stanowi raczej zbiór nastepujacych po sobie sekwencji wykonywanych przez poszczególnych muzyków solo, badz w duetach, a tylko niekiedy przez cala trójke. Sekwencje te nad wyraz precyzyjnie ulozone zostaly w ciag, skladajac sie na bardzo dobra i nieustannie zajmujaca uwage sluchacza calosc. Owa zdolnosc do budowania interesujacych utworów jest zachowana równiez i w przypadku nagrania nr 2, choc napisac nalezy, ze tu raczej do czynienia mamy z forma dosc jednorodna.
«Istmo», bedac kolejna plyta, nie jest juz zapewne pozycja tak zaskakujaca i niezwykla, jak jej poprzedniczka, ale na pewno w niczym jej nie ustepuje.
Przynoszac kolejna porcje znakomitej muzyki, penetruje nieco odmienne – mozna je nazwac lagodniejszymi lub bardziej melodyjnymi – obszary improwizowanego halasu i daje pewnosc, ze kolejne propozycje tria Fages/Costa Monteiro/Barberan równiez nie zawioda.
Tadeusz Kosiek, Diapazon


A feral antidote to the «regular» concept of trio is furnished by these lucid assassins, who keep releasing great music standing halfway through dual-purpose jumbles of noisy poormouthing and a radical reinvention of the act of stripping sound of every tourist beauty. This is aural toxicity at the very top, in kindless perpetrations of instrumental throwaway: what Fages does with a simple turntable would make Pierre Henry proud – or envious? – while the damp air coming out of Barberàn’s trumpet grottoes meets Costa Monteiro’s accordion in catarrhal metamorphoses of phlegmatic triangulations. No need for hocus-pocus, hand tricks or complex organizations of useless gentle movements: feel yourself like crossing a creek, tripping on a rock, being overwhelmed by your own ridiculousness – then you realize you just fell into an industrial sewer.
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes


This follow-up to last year’s Atolón on Rossbin, recorded live just a month after that splendid piece of work, features Ferran Fages (acoustic turntable), Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion) and trumpeter Ruth Barberán in two more slabs of (not so) soft noise entitled «fehyst» and «ikhto» – seems like the good folks at Creative Sources are on a mission to outdo Autechre for strange album and track titles. All three musicians are regular visitors to Ernesto Rodrigues’ label – it’s Costa Monteiro’s fourth outing on CS, Barberán’s third and Fages’ second – and one only has to dip back into the austere palindromes of I Treni Inerti’s Ura, recorded just a year before this, to appreciate how far they’ve moved away from the discreet introspection of reductionism. Barberán’s solution to the problem of being compared to a whole slew of lowercase trumpet poppers and ploppers – Axel Dörner, Greg Kelley, Franz Hautzinger, Masafumi Ezaki and Matt Davis (formerly of I Treni) – is to take the instrument back to its caveman basics, raw horny blasts replacing the now-standard vocabulary of hisses and gurgles (though there are still plenty of those too). Costa Monteiro’s accordion playing is as weird as it was on his CS solo Rumeur, but he’s not averse to using the old squeezebox in a more conventional manner to lay down some ugly, reedy minor ninth drones. Meanwhile Fages’ so-called acoustic turntable, which treats the venerable machine as a kind of amplified circular saw, spits out the kind of noise that wouldn’t be out of place in an iron foundry. It’s a music of texture rather than substance, surface instead of structure, and listening to it is rather like dribbling your ear down a stucco wall: not exactly pleasant but it sure leaves an impressive scar.
Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic


I’m continually surprised at the rate with which Ernesto Rodrigues releases discs on his superb Creative Sources imprint. As most folks reading this know, the excellent viola/violin/electronics improviser began to document Portuguese and Spanish improvisation several years back and has quickly developed his label into one of the premier outlets for improvisation at the intersection of European free music, electroacoustics, and new music. I recently opened up my mailbox to find a package stuffed with seven of the label’s latest goodies. All told, it’s a strong batch.
Istmo (CS 023) features the fantastic trio of Ferran Fages (acoustic turntable), Ruth Barberán (trumpet), Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion), whose initial release Atolón (on Rossbin) was a jarringly noisy slice of reality. On this followup – consisting of two tracks recorded in the fall of 2003 in Toledo and Barcelona – the grit and alien organics of the trio’s debut are back, but the music is slightly less relentless and has a wider textural palette. One of the new elements is Barberán’s wonderful, didgeridoo-like low end ruminations on her trumpet. Her range is really growing these days and this gnarly, crackling trio – with the insane colors Fages whips up often being the least predictable – is the perfect setting for her. But the group language is growing too, now including passages where they ease back on the throttle and assemble relatively delicate layers of tonality. The key figure here is Monteiro, who really shapes this music with his silences, his wheezing, his aggression, and his ever-so-occasional lyric gesture. Tough, fascinating, and wonderfully unpredictable stuff.
[…] Taken together, this septet of discs is worthy not just for their quality but also for their documentation of this music (and some of its lesser known players). Rodrigues already has a new batch out. In the meantime, however, don’t miss out on some of these gems.
Jason Bivins, Bagatellen


[…] C’est en essayant de traverser l’océan des sons que ISTMO (CS 023 cd) s’est créé. Basé à Barcelone, le trio est formé de Ferran Fages «acoustic turntable», Alfredo Costa Monteiro, accordéon et Ruth Barberan, trumpet. Je dois dire que ce tourne-disques acoustique (?) excite ma curiosité. Leur rapport au temps est curieux, on n’y sent aucune urgence (contrairement à Metz ou Ailack) ni aucun relâchement. Un peu de tension née des surfaces frottées et créée par la position des micros. Une activité mécanique surgit d’on ne sait où, un moulin? Les tubes de la trompette, les soufflets de l’accordéon? Ah oui, les tubes! C’est le règne du soft noise matiériste et mouvementé, parfois motorisé. Les titres sont aussi mystérieux que leurs contenants (1. fehyst 2. ikhto). Au fur et à mesure que fehyst avance le son durcit, s’épaissit et les anches de l’accordéon reviennent dans le vent du soir et au travers de l’opacité du fog déchiquetée par les appels de corne de brume de Barberan. […]
Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Improjazz