Francisco Meirino                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Anthems For Unsuccessful Winners


Cdr, Echomusic (Gr), 99 copies, Released : april 2010

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1 . Winning is overrated

2. Endless possibilities for failures

3. Unsuccessful attempt at trying to explain the meaning of these sounds 

4. The deterioration of distress 

5. Annihilating your last audio interface

6. Anthem for unsuccessful winners

All tracks assembled at Shiver Mobile, audio and visual data gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland and New York, Usa by Francisco Meirino in 2009 and 2010.

"Anthems for Unsuccessful Winners" continues the work started on my previous release "Connections, opportunities for mistakes". The music is based on the idea that there is beauty in failure, on recording what is not supposed to be :

gear failures, death of a PA system, electro-static noise. "Anthems for Unsuccessful Winners" adds attempts at using the limits of compression and equalisation to reach the end of what is audible on digital support."


Vital Weekly

Up until last year Francisco Meirino used the name Phroq as an alias, but like so many he left that behind and now works under his own name. Its interesting to see that similarity with Joe Colley (formerly known as Crawl Unit) and Andy Orthmann (Panicsville). There is also another parallel to be drawn between these three. They all have a background in good solid noise, but when working under the own name, their all seems to have opened up the noise approach in favor of musique concrete. By incorporating electro-acoustic sounds and field recordings, along with heavily processed versions thereof, they create their own approach to noise, and one that is actually all the more interesting. Meirino here has the same approach as on 'Connections, Opportunities For Mistakes' (which I don't got reviewed here): the beauty of failure. Gear breaking down, the death of a PA system, electro-static noise and such like. These events are not presented 'as such', but the sounds are used in various combinations, in a strong musical collage. Sometimes dense, sometimes stretched out, but then also at other times abrupt endings (the failure ending in a full stop), swift changes in the material. The cover says we should hear these six pieces as one track (although individually titled), which then probably even makes more sense. A pretty strong work, I'd say. If more noise was like this and not the storm of distortion, then I'd be more than happy.

Even when this release opens with 'Winning Is Overrated', I'd say this is a winner.


Touching Extremes 

This excellently titled record represents a hypothetical continuation  two years later  of the sonic analysis that had characterized the above reviewed Connections. The compositional element is slightly more manifest; there s also a noticeable degree of improvement in the aesthetical features of the textural amassment. A piece in particular, Unsuccessful Attempts At Trying To Explain The Meaning Of These Sounds , grows gradually and mightily through a nearly consonant static accretion, but is soon interrupted by a violent discharge introducing the habitual helping of sharp acridness and massive throbbing that defines large segments of this artist s CDs. The title track moves around similar coordinates, placing interference, edginess and gratification on the same level of acceptability. In general, Anthems seems to better focus Meirino s intentions (especially considering its shorter duration  in this genre, that can make a difference in terms of expressive urgency). It treats us to a plethora of reviving acoustic signals, the kind of stuff this writer would always like to hear as a replacement for talking people.


translation by Yiorgis Sakellariou:

"Anthems for unsuccessful winners" by Francisco Meirino, that was recently released on Echomusic, is an album that shows Francisco's turn towards more electroacoustic paths, gradually leaving behind the noise-extravagantza of the past, under the moniker Phroq. Not that at that time there were not moments were he put out amazing pieces, like the relatively recent Half Asleep Music, on Entr'acte, but his gradual turn from noisescapes towards more electronic/electroacoustic soundscapes show new potential that he can develop. So, at least, it seems from the 6 pieces of this CD-R that can be listened to as one track or autonomus (or randomly) and that are thicker of more frequency based. I'm curious to see what he will present in the future.


Comme s’extrayant d’une carapace larvaire pour révéler une apparence plus aboutie,Francisco Meirino quitte le Phroq qui lui collait à la peau depuis 15 ans et se présente désormais sous sa véritable identité. L’artiste serait-il arrivé à maturité ? En réalité, la mue imaginale était déjà amorcée depuis quelques temps et le changement ne paraîtra pas radical à qui se souvient suffisamment clairement de l’excellent Connections, Opportunities for Mistakes(2008). Le thème du dysfonctionnement est à nouveau central dans cet opus bourré d’électronique fumant qui, dans un assemblage de « victoires sans succès », explore les limites de systèmes pas toujours identifiés. Une intrusion nocturne au cœur de la salle des machines permet d’en éclairer brièvement quelques portions ; il y a des câbles un peu partout que Meirino dénude avec les dents, tentant quelques branchements de fortune pour ranimer des appareils moribonds mais recueillant plus souvent leur dernier souffle. L’agonie n’est pas de tout repos : des fréquences tranchantes comme un faisceau laser découpent l’espace dans toutes les dimensions, des mouvements mécaniques manquent de défaillir à chaque itération, des montées en puissance sont stoppées net par des chutes brutales de tension et des éruptions volcaniques enregistrées sur dictaphone troublent une friture imperceptible de particules. On ne reste jamais tranquille très longtemps et à peine commence-t-on à s’installer dans un environnement que l’on s’en trouve délogé par une décharge ; une instabilité qui renvoie à l’image d’un électrocardiogramme pas très vaillant, auquel on reste suspendu en attendant l’issue fatale. Bien sûr, l’interprétation de tout cela reste essentiellement subjective et, avec son titre le plus pertinent, Meirino annonçait déjà ce qu’allait être cette chronique : une « unsuccessful attempt at trying to explain the meaning of these sounds » !