Francisco Meirino                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Anthems For Unsuccessful Winners


Jewel case CD, The Helen Scarsdale Agency (USA)

6 pages booklet, matte finish. HMS037

Price (dollars) : 7 / 13.50

Last copies are available on the label’s bandcamp page.

Assembled, performed and mastered by Francisco Meirino at Shiver Mobile, 2014-2016. 

Artwork Francisco Meirino & Jim Haynes, layout : Jim Haynes

Track listing :

1. Surrender 12'53

2. In need of anything, no, perhaps nothing 08'34

3. Render 08'32

4. Arguments (for lazyness)07'08

5. End 10'23

"First and foremost, Surrender, Render, End is an electro-acoustic dialectic, unremittingly engaged in a pugilist conflict between art and accident. The Swiss noise-composer Francisco Meirino began working on the skeleton for this piece in 2014 as a multi-channel, modular synth patch, which has been in an ongoing state of modification through public diffusions and private rumination. Meirino posits the album as a metaphysical puzzle of manipulated tape, atonal synthesis, and concrete sound. He is quick to point out that these are more than field recordings, better stated as an extreme amplification of natural phenomena. All of this twists and turns through a shifting of perspective, akin to the cinematic tropes of objectivity and subjectivity in the framing of the image; but here it is with hostile topography of sound interacting with the human mind, body, and spirit. The allusions within Surrender, Render, End are numerous and for the most part are fleetingly abstract, like the fragments of a nightmare that linger days after. The research laboratory, abandoned with all of the instruments running after an experiment became toxic and started to metastasize. Nerve-endings rupturing from sensory overload. The residual psychic violence of a time and place that's forgotten history. The one recognizable human utterance: "I'll never know anything." Meirino's work has long been at the forefront of sonic exploration, with Surrender, Render, End being a masterful work built upon many years of dedication to his craft, with countless performances, residencies, collaborations, and publications. Think Luc Ferrari, Peter Tscherkassky, and the aktions of the Schimpfluch-Gruppe."

(label press-release)


The Wire                                                                                                                             Revue & Corrigée

Tiny Mix Tapes

Noise is often synonymous with destruction. We associate noise with demolitions, collisions, and explosions, and also with subtler negations. Helen Scarsdale Agency label owner Jim Haynes, for instance, creates his own washed-out suites, and he describes the act simply: "I rust things." In contrast, Francisco Meirino's Surrender, Render, End, released on Helen Scarsdale, resists dwelling on decay, presenting collages of blasted sound that are as inviting as they are harsh. While his pieces expose and manipulate liminal and extreme sounds — screeching feedback, buzzing electronics, many other things harder to parse — they often swaddle as much as they corrode. Drones inherently ground listeners in a static moment, carving out spaces; if noise albums are most often wrecking yards or torture chambers, Meirino's spaces are mechanical wombs, amniotic bubbles whose only threat is that they will eventually burst.

Meirino, a Swiss sound artist who has been active in musique concrète since the early 1990s, says he's driven by a fascination with "electro-acoustic dialectics" and that his work is "unremittingly engaged in a pugilist conflict between art and accident." It's the combination of art and accident — and, perhaps relatedly, the organic and mechanic — that helps him create such vivid spaces, the fritzing and whirring entwined with human voices, rolling marbles, and squeaking bathtubs. 

But the electronic and acoustic elements are welded together so seamlessly they don’t really generate much tension. Instead, organic and inorganic elements hang in a fragile balance. “End” features requisite droning electronic sounds as well as a collage of clipped, throaty vocal sounds, the traces, it seems, of actual words. This recontextualized human sound adds organic texture to the humming coils and vacuum tubes, a wet membrane grafted over wires. On “Arguments for Laziness,” we’re swathed in refrigerator drones, while beeping buoys and soft voices undulate in the background — not a bleached, distorted landscape so much as an ASMR paradise. The album’s dramatic peak is a section of the final piece, “Surrender,” on which Meirino (apparently) squeezes a balloon over the microphone, yielding sounds both unsettlingly intestinal and oddly pleasing.

“Render” begins as a low, distorted hum before becoming engulfed by a pattering crackle — rain, or percolating coffee, perhaps, but most likely the sound of rendering fat, popping in a pan. Rendering is a process both visceral and mechanical, the meeting of meat and machine in an act both destructive and transformative. In these moments, Meirino sets himself apart from sound artists fascinated principally with decay, the natural, inevitable destruction all artificial things face. Instead, he pairs the natural and artificial to restage the natural order of life as a not-totally-animal, not-totally-mechanical process, from incubation to disintegration. 


Dans cette nouvelle pièce débutée en 2014, pensée initialement pour quatre hauts-parleurs et qui s'est affinée au fur et à mesure du temps, du studio et des concerts, Francisco Meirino privilégie l'évènement sonore et son développement, le flux et son débit, l'accumulation et son rythme Il y a une certaine lenteur dans cette pièce, celle d'une mécanique au réveil lourd et engourdi qui prendra son envol dans l'activité explosive et stéréophonique de patches électroniques venant traverser l'espace de l'écoute telles des diablotins issus de la pensée du compositeur.

Entre laboratoire abandonné et cauchemar interrompu, 'Surrender, Render, End' confirme la place de Francisco Meirino dans une musique électroacoustique hors de tout académisme..


Dyskografia szwajcarskiego artysty zajmuj?cego si? szeroko poj?t? muzyk? eksperymentaln? rozrasta si? w imponuj?cym tempie. Znamy go te? z nagra? jako Francis De Omeirin czy Phroq, ale najwi?cej p?yt wyda? pod w?asnym nazwiskiem. Meirino wielokrotnie wspó?pracowa? z innymi twórcami, cho?by z Kiko C. Esseiv?, Dave'em Phillipsem czy Nicolasem Bernierem. Szwajcar tworzy niezwykle abstrakcyjne formy, manipuluj?c ta?mami, bia?ym szumem i preparowanym field recordingiem. Niejednokrotnie w jego kompozycjach natkniemy si? na noise'owe w?tki. Jednym s?owem: d?wi?kowe laboratorium na ludzkiej percepcji.

Sputnik Musik

With previous releases, Spanish composer Francisco Meirino (currently a Switzerland resident) has been pretty blunt in his presentation. Albums like 2014's Knowing More How Than Why were basically re-contextualized field recordings, focusing on the Schaeffer school of thought: music made of non-music. Some song titles off of Knowing (…) include "Burning a Reel Tape Loop" and "Citric Acid on an Open Circuit", which give the impression of potato-battery experiments that probably won't rewrite the rulebook. Trying to emphasize the intrigue of day-to-day sounds, while still valid, has become a bit lame when trying to justify newer musique concrète compositions.Surrender, Render, End is significant in that it does emphasize those sounds, but only to bastardize them in a weird, dreamy, retrospective sense; think, maybe, the film Jacob's Ladder, which would require a lengthy essay to explain properly, but has some similar themes of blending nightmare and reality, with induced paranoia.

It's well-made electroacoustic music, with emphasis on "made" (the appeal in this style is often in acknowledging the process, as much as it is enjoying the sounds). The catch is, it's often a bit too dense to highlight its motifs justly. It blends lowercase amplification with labyrinthine construction, and the listener hardly has time to enjoy the textures before being swept through a different channel. Tracks like "In Need of Anything, No, Perhaps Nothing" are fragmented, which was definitely Meirino's goal, and presents Surrender, Render, End as a unique combination of elaborative patience and chaotic impatience. It's all pretty mad-scientist-y, with Meirino's rat-in-a-maze experiments coming together beautifully. Some of the noises seem to massage the brain, like opener "Surrender", which creates this balloon-like, oscillating rubbing effect; or, mid-album "Render", which whispers, creaks, and probes before subduing the listener with acupuncture.

Surrender, Render, End has a really specific appeal, to the point where it's anyone's guess who belongs within. To its credit, those who probably do belong will recurrently question their presence: a "what am I doing here and why haven't I left yet?" type of feel. Surrender, Render, Endis sadistic, yet occasionally merciful - unpredictable when it wants to be, and tranquil when needed.


Wanneer de 'vijandige topografie van geluid' hortend en stotend botst op het menselijk brein, lichaam en geest wordt Francisco Meirino wakker. Hij pakt zijn vergrootglas en zijn telelens en gaat op pad. Nu ja, figuurlijk dan. De Zwitser neemt op en wat hij vastlegt in het veld wordt in de studio bewerkt - van micro tot macro en omgekeerd - en aangevuld met atonale modulaire synthesizernoise. En dat vijandige? Daarin alleen al ligt de 'overgave' uit de titel. Een vorm van overgave trouwens die ook in een (kick)boksring uitgesloten is. Alles nemen, totdat het licht uitgaat. Wanneer hij zijn werk omschrijft, noemt Meirino pugilisme zelf trouwens ook. Alsof je geen kant uit kunt, maar wel voortdurend incasseert. En dat hóeft niet eens naar te zijn; een zekere mate van verdoving treedt al snel op en daarin ontstaat ook een verhoogde mate van lucide attentie. Alsof je als een vlijmscherp mes door de wollige kluwen snijdt. Meirino werkt niet alleen in letterlijke zin met extreem versterkte natuurlijke fenomenen. Die zoekt hij ook overdrachtelijk als hij in een meanderende tocht perspectieven laat verschuiven en buitelen tussen objectief en subjectief. Tussen veraf en dichtbij ook - veilig vredig en vluchtwaardig link. Ergens op de wip dus tussen de extremen van de Schimpfluch-Gruppe en de narratieve vervoering van Luc Ferrari...

Vital Weekly

"It seems as if Francisco Meirino is a little less active than before when it comes to releases. I am not sure why that is; maybe he's more into installation pieces? So far I quite enjoyed his work, which always seemed to be quite noisy, but never being an all-on onslaught of mindless noise. Failure, somehow, played an important role, usually that of equipment. Apparatus that are on the fringe of breaking down, down to their last breath, but still being able to produce that final sound, which Meirino then incorporates in his sound collages. One could say these are field recordings too, and along with the ones he tapes outside (in 'the field' as it were), acoustic sound rumble of his own, electronic sounds and perhaps modular synthesizer. On this new work he crafts these together into another five pieces of great beauty. There is no noise here, not in the 'traditional' sense of the word, but in a more traditional musique concrete way: by creating layers of sounds, which are cut 'n paste together, scratching and hissing and sometimes dropping out of the mix in order to be replaced by something else. 

One can easily enjoy this as one piece of forty-eight minutes, moving through various sections, various degrees of harshness if you will. 'Arguments (For Laziness)' has some brutal dying force in the machines, while 'Render' seems more about the sustaining sounds of motorized objects and almost a concrete drone piece. 'End', aptly placed at the end, is a piece that is the most quiet in this lot, and one that works wonderfully well as a coda. Inside there are some garbled voices and throughout this is an excellent release. 

Not his best, but among the best he did; all in a consistently high quality rating in the last few years."