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released on:Crónica (025~2006)

buy/shop on Bandcamp:

" ...on this staunchly otherworldly release he (VJ) sets up a collision between the human voice and cutting edge computerised sound sculpting. The disc starts impressively with 'Moments of Your Time', which melds dense layers of processed sound matter against hazy TV news reports, but it's the processed spoken word performance on 'Slow Moments' that reveals the album's central preoccupation: Filipa Hora's deadpan lyrics profess a fear of intimacy, all the while Joaquim gradually pulls her voice into an abyss of humming electronics. Further on 'Moments of Silence' opens with an Alva Noto-like passage of pristine, high frequency oscillations which are eventually interrupted by Hora's lost, disembodied vocal. The esoteric approach to sound editing weaves voice and obliterated audio debris into a wholly alien digital tapestry. Highly recommended. "
- boomkat

All  texts integrally reproduced

> Ed Pinset  - 7/2007
Sound Projector

Der er stadig salg i den ret beset temmelig gamle idé med at blande elektroniske og akustiske instrumenter, og ikke mindst synes kombinationen af electronica og indiepop – laptop og sang/guitar – fortsat at trække folk til. Frugterne af denne hybrid er dog ikke altid lige overbevisende, ofte virker det faktisk som om det ”andet” element har en rent dekorativ funktion, hvad enten det er indie-sangskriveren, som pepper sine numre op med smarte digitaleffekter, eller electronica-nørden, som tilføjer mere ”varme” og ”autentiske” lydkilder til sin kliniske produktion. Sådanne dekorationer kan selvfølgelig fungere udmærket, hvis ellers de underliggende kompositioner er gode og har plads til dem, men derfra er der dog stadig et stykke vej til, at det i sig selv skulle være en specielt interessant eller nyskabende bedrift at blande de to verdener. Der synes desværre at være alt for mange tilfælde, hvor strategien virker som en kreativ sovepude, og hvor tilføjelsen af enten elektronik eller akustiske instrumenter i bedste fald fremstår unødvendig, i værste fald direkte irriterende. Men heldigvis kommer man så også en gang imellem ud for plader, som får noget virkelig originalt ud af fusionen. En sådan er Vitor Joaquims Flow, som vinder gevaldigt ved ikke blot at være den rendyrkede knitre-electronica, som er det umiddelbare udgangspunkt.

Flow (Cronica) � Often it is not enough to be dear to the other�one feels compelled to be fatal to them. Tangled in the maw of long, violin-like sonorities, shards of jack-plug static and nightmarish boomings suggestive of cavernous depths, the strangely neutral voice of Filipa Hora' overdubbed and pitchshifted variously up and down�bears out just this fear, musing �I think this is so dangerous, this intimacy...I think you're getting so close, I think I�m going to have to stop you from getting closer.� The album charts the passage of the Other in its irreducible foreignness to its deterritorialization and regulated exchange as difference. The compositional techniques are wide and many, but they are all connected up to one another by Joaquim's processing as though by an immense umbilical cord. Submersive listening is best, as it brings to light the manners in which seemingly random sounds are siphoned into a structure that is given impetus and accrues complexity. Despite its fragmentary nature, moments of melody and harmonic resolution emerge from the shadows of the dim tonal palette. In fact, numerous pieces, especially "Moments Of Emptiness,!"  betray an affinity for post-rock in their reliance on elliptical melodies and doomy bass vibrations. Joaquim's approach is more strategic, however. In a subtle manner, he recombines and loops scrambling clusters of reprocessed sound, bleary beats, and subterranean echoes, creating a dramatic tension between movement and stasis. Other works such as "Moments Of Silence" pivot in unusual places, affording it a structural slipperiness which, when combined with metallic guitar lines that rub each other the wrong way, heighten the woozy, dreamlike aura of the work on a whole. With "Misleading Moments" the work comes full circle and the Same assumes its position as the heir to the Other. The album's signature funeral march of grating electronics and slow-burning guitar clang is repeated, only painted over with some high-end frequencies that glimmer through the ominous ambience like stars through smog. Everything does flow through a single nebula, then, one which is taut and compelling in its use of sound in the construction of narrative.

> MS 6/2007
> e/i 


 Calling a record of electronic music “flow” and then basically working on disrupting the flow is a daring act, but one that sets free thought and emotion and leaves a lot open for interpretation. Or, to start at the beginning, of definition: for what exactly is meant by “flow”? The word is regularly used in a variety of different meanings, from ebb and tide to vienna coffee house electronica to even the distorted pounding of Schranz. Postrockers tend to flow but the same was said in musical history about fusion jazz and, behold!, New Age synthie shit. Do Slayer have a flow? What about Aphex Twin? To use a common denominator definition, flow would be the same as pulse but in a longer span of time, ie. if you stretch the pulse of a piece of electronic music in time it would be that zone of dynamic tension before it turns into a drone. Which, of course, is just as bad a definition as any, but that is the way they have to be: misleading, self-contradictory and with little to no ability to express what they mean. Just like the music they come from.

To Joaquim the flow is defined by the moment. At least he references to the idea of a “moment” in all the track titles on this album. From “Moments of your time” via “moments of sync” to “empty moments” and “misleading moments”. He stretches, cuts and loops recordings of sounds, guitars and especially a female voice repeatedly speaking about her fears of intimacy and at the same time the loss of intimacy. Then he makes them akward, disrupts their organical flow by introducing new sounds or layers or stopping some abruptly. He uses noise and clicks to enforce the haphazard stumble through delicate beats and sounds. After all, the production is suberb and most bits and parts lay bare in crystal clear sound, ready to be dissected or digested. The pounding bass-rhythm formed from simple clicks but mixed into big proportions during “moments of silence” (track six) is a great way to show the abilities of Joaquim. To make things even more complicated, various parts, once again especially that female voice, repeat over and over again during the course of the record, in more and differently manipulated ways. So the listener has no option but try to swallow the whole thing as a whole. And to make that even more complicated, the label has added a video called “flow” (what else?) onto the disc.

The most interesting and most wondefully fascinating thing about communication is the fact that it works some times. From the simple task of a worldwide network of digitalized exchange of newsbits to the endlessly complex interconnections of communication in a human partnership, communications works. If you think about all the factors that may interfere, for instance starting from the very basic sender – reciever moder, you may start to doubt that communication is possible at all. If you then add the necessities and intermitting factors of the medium in all its variety and the history of communication between sender and reciever, you have taken the problem areas to manifold. And we haven’t even mentioned the black box of intermitting factors that come from outside our neat little modell. And within all those myriards of tiny little noise bits that turn into information when sorted in the right order, what place does electronic music inhabit? Well, records like “flow” seem to prove that within that vast universe of flickering tiny bits and bytes – or the hills and valleys of analogue transmission, if you insist –there are some places where the disturbance is bigger, because these records function like a black hole for infobits. So their place is to make the listeners more alert, sharpen their wits and enlight them.

Especially when he starts to emulate this gravitating and gyrating of info noise in a syrupy mass that we call the information age, in a dense and growing piece of static noise, modulated frequencies, warbling and stumbling beats, sharp high frequencies and a lot of other things that sound fierce and unfriendly when written down but form a big piece of music that feels good to the touch. “Silence … I still here you” repeats the female voice over and over again somewhere during the last third of “flow”. Yes, there is a lot of silence in these recordings, but unlike other records, the silence doesn’t come after the music is over, but is there visible and tangible while the music is still on.
Monochrom (AT) - 11.2006

Flow (Crónica 025 + quicktime video) bringt ein Wiederhören mit VITOR JOAQUIM,
einem der maßgebenden Köpfe der portugiesischen Electronica, der
schon einmal mit A Rose is a Rose (dOc recordings) meine Schwurbelmaschine
angeworfen hat (BA 45). In dicht verschlungener Mehrspurigkeit lässt er jeweils
mit ganz unterschiedlichen Geschwindigkeiten langschweifige und kurzwellige
Pulsfrequenzen ineinander rotieren, dunkle Tupfer und helles Klingeln,
durchschossen von Plops, von sirrenden und wabernden Linien durchbrochen.
Mit verblüffenden, hoch komplexen Ergebnissen. In achtfacher Beleuchtung,
Joaquim nennt es ‚Momente‘ - ‚Moments of Skin‘, ‚Thinking Moments‘, ‚Moments
of Silence‘ - , kreist er um die Konfrontation von Computer und menschlicher
Stimme, von programmierten Beat-Noise-Collagen und menschlicher
Gefühlswelt. Immer wieder hört man Atemzüge oder Satzfetzen von Filipa Hora,
die wie aus einem hohlen Metallfass heraus hallen - ...i think you‘re getting
so close...this is so dangerous, this intimacy, i think... i think i don‘t want not to
be close etc. Dieser hohle Vocoderklang irritiert mich lange als Déjà vu, bis ich
endlich auf Laurie Anderson komme, bei der mir dieser Verfremdungseffekt
schon einmal ähnlich unter die Haut gegangen war. Dazu blinken an bestimmten
Stellen melancholische Gitarren, bei ‚Moments of Emptiness‘ in tristen Endlosrillenloops.
Und Hora haucht und stottert ihr verzerrtes „close“, „think“ und
„silence“. Aber I-I-I und w-w-w-e-e zerflattern im malenden und häckselnden
Computermix. Joaquim ist ein Experte für die Mechanik des Herzens, für den
Geist in der Maschine. Mit Flow sind ihm Momente von außergewöhnlicher Intensität
gelungen. Das Flow-Video von Lia, dessen Ästhetik schon das Coverdesign
andeutet, besticht in perfekter Synchronität mit Joaquims Sounds durch
teils kristalline, teils organische, an Seeanemonen erinnernde Wucherungen in
Schwarzweiß, mit momentan aufblühenden Rottönen.

> Bad Alchemy - 11.2006


Ebenso abgegangen und -gefahren: Joaquims Versuch, die Stimme als nahezu nackte Form der menschlichen Expression mit Computern zu verbinden. Die Struktur der Interaktion und das faszinierende instrumentale Processing kommen zu grandiosen Ergebnissen, die zu den intensivsten und experimentell besten Audios der letzten Zeit gehören.

Terz - 10.2006

Compositeur ayant beaucoup oeuvré dans le cadre d'événements culturels à Lisbonne, mais aussi de ballets, le Portugais Vitor Joaquim est aussi depuis quelques années, actif dans le champ de la musique électronique, qu'il ne cesse finalement de remettre en question, comme si son passé imposait une présence humaine à confronter aux machines. Pour Flow, c'est ainsi la voix qui s'invite au premier plan, plus précisément celle de Filipa Hora, mais aussi des guitares, qui viennent rappeler que tout instrument est valide. construit comme une suit de moments (les titres de l'album comportent d'ailleurs tous le mot "moment"), Flow est un parcours homogéne, sinueux et cabossé, où l'on se laisse guider avec plaisir jusqu'à la vidéo abstraite de "Flow", conclusion rêvée du voyage.

> Jean François Micard
D-Side - 10.2006

Un flusso costante nell'esercizio certo non banale modulato da digitali astrazioni che sono relazionate a una voce: effusioni trattenute, scorrere del tempo, circolare del sangue, ondeggiare e derivare dai propri stessi percorsi, traboccare infine. Uno splendido e poetico album questo del portoghese Vitor Joaquim, intimista e inquieto, che molto racconta nelle sue sequenze instabili del potenziale insito (anche dolorosamente) in ogni relazione fortemente cercata. Lavoro alla quale si è avvezzi, soprattutto quando è pratica consueta mescolare artisticamente le proprie emozioni con quelle d'altri: nell'improvvisazione, nel teatro-danza, nelle forme d'arte multimediale, ad esempio, territori abituali per questo musicista, supportato nel progetto dalle immaginative elaborazioni visuali di Lia, da Filipa Hora (voce), da João Hora e da Emídio Buchinho (chitarre).

Aurelio Cianciotta
neural - 10.2006

Depuis 2003, le label Crónica poursuit son entreprise singulière de défrichage multimédia, pistant les traces éparses de sensibilité humaine au fil de productions se nourrissant des échanges entrelacés d’abstractions mélodiques digitales et d’habillages graphique et vidéo stylisés. Une science du dialogue entre le biologique et le numérique qui s’approfondit davantage encore sur ce Flow, mené avec maestria par le vétéran Vitor Joaquim, dont les aficionados se remémoreront le Tales Of Chaos paru en 1997 sur l’autre label portugais de référence, Ananana. Flow conserve la même approche thématique, déclinant différentes variations autour de la notion de “moments”. Il en ressort un sens curieux du mélange, où l’auditeur se laisse happer par une mise en scène flottante, par une théâtralité évanescente. Sur un lit d’effets musicaux électroniques discrets et enveloppants, alternant nappes fondantes et bleeps coulissants, Vitor Joaquim noue les fils d’une intrigue environnementaliste où les premiers rôles sont confiés avec parcimonie à la voix suave de Filipa Hora et aux guitares de Joao Hora et Emidio Bucchino. On avance donc précautionneusement dans l’écoute, au gré de cet étrange jeu de cache-cache entre la voix narrative et des sensations musicales clair-obscures qui entretiennent avec une douce harmonie une cohésion improbable. Sur “Slow moments”, le temps paraît suspendu derrière la voix qui semble se robotiser au contact des matières musicales grésillantes. Sur l’intro de “Moments of sync”, le fluide sonore s’amplifie brusquement, comme si une autoroute bruyante s’ouvrait tout à coup devant nos oreilles. De quoi tendre le pouce pour saisir au vol cette nouvelle expérience aventureuse et sensitive signée Crónica.

> Laurent Catala

> Octopus - 10.2006

Der portugiesische Komponist arbeitet an Installationen und Theater genau wie an Videos. Im Falle von "Flow" stammt allerdings nur die Musik von Joaquim, der Film, der ebenfalls auf der CD enthalten ist, stammt von Lia. Hauptakteur ist hier der Rechner, obwohl als Klangmaterial zwei Gitarren, eine Sängerin und Fernsehgeräusche genannt werden. Er verarbeitet dieses Material zu rauhen, kratzigen digitalen Hörstücken, in denen immer wieder drone- und groove-artige Strukturen hörbar werden und die Stimme Filipa Horas manchmal soar genug Zeit hat, Textfragmente beizutragen. Spannende Platte, bei der ständig etwas Neues passiert und die mitnichten vor sich hin fliesst, wie der Titel vermuten lassen könnte.

> De:Bug - 10.2006

Au Portugal, Vitor Joaquim s'affirme depuis quelques années comme l'une des figures les plus en vue en matière de musique électronique. Musicien, professeur et directeur du festival EME, on retrouve sa présence dans bon nombre d'activités artistiques mêlant à la fois : vidéo, musique, danse, théâtre et installations multimédia.
Flow son dernier album, sorti chez Crónica, est tout simplement irrésistible ! Ce féru d'électroacoustique nous propose une savoureuse mixture composée de fragiles atmosphères sonores intimes et apaisantes, où se juxtaposent (de bien belle manière) erreurs digitales, Field recording en provenance d'un récepteur TV et la voix numérisée de Filipa Hora. Découpée en plusieurs strates, l'écoute de cette seule et unique pièce méditative s'apparente à une lente plongée en immersion vers les profondeurs de l’abîme sonore ! AGF et certains travaux de Laurie Anderson viennent immédiatement à l'esprit... Echantillons de voix, bruits minuscules chuchotés du bout des lèvres, erreurs digitales et sons de guitares retraités (jouées par Emídio Buchinho et Joao Hora), la poésie numérique fait son oeuvre et s'affranchit très rapidement des références sus-citées ! Réfugié derrière son laptop, Vitor Joaquim produit de merveilleux modèles rythmiques et mélodiques et s'amuse à jongler entre assauts grinçants et pureté vocale !
Vitor Joaquim joue régulièrement avec Carlos Zíngaro, Marco Franco, Miguel Santos, Nuno Rebelo, Pedro Carneiro, Luís Vitorino ou Emídio Buchinho et pratique l'improvisation depuis 1982.
Avec sa forte identité, Flow se distingue des glitcheries habituelles et s'affirme d'ors et déjà comme l'un des meilleurs albums de cette année 2006 !

> Sonhors - 10.2006

In “Morte a vele spiegate” di C. P. Snow, un giallo che al momento sto leggendo, a un certo punto c'è scritto: ‘Tutta la critica…
(teatrale) …è una lotta tra le cose che i propri sentimenti approvano e le cose che il proprio gusto raffinato reputa ridicole’.
Quali sono i criteri da utilizzare nel valutare se un disco è un buon disco?
La sua capacità di coinvolgere e di suscitare emozioni?
Esatto, vien da dire di primo acchito, ma qualcuno osserverà che si tratta di un metro di giudizio estremamente soggettivo, variabile non solo da individuo ad individuo ma anche in funzione dello stato d’animo, e quindi assai empirico. E poi come giudicare quei dischi che suscitano emozioni di tipo negativo sviscerando con impatto gli aspetti oscuri dell’esistenza e della natura umana?
Potremmo allora valutare positivamente un disco che non suscita alcuna emozione, ma viceversa riesce a rilassarti, trascinarti a canticchiare le sue facili melodie e/o farti ballare al gioco dei suoi ritmi?
Ma così verremmo a perdere buona parte dei dischi che ormai sono riconosciuti da tutti come capolavori!!!
È forse l’aspetto tecnico, d’esecuzione e di registrazione, a determinarne la riuscita? La tecnica, diversamente da come ci hanno insegnato alcuni cattivi maestri, è fondamentale nel processo di produzione musicale: può essere più o meno estesa, più o meno raffinata e più o meno ortodossa, ma è comunque indispensabile. Una persona che non ha mai preso in mano una chitarra o che non sa come funziona un computer non potrà mai utilizzare tali strumenti in un modo minimamente soddisfacente. Lo stesso concetto vale per quanto riguarda l’aspetto pratico della registrazione. Ma è altrettanto vero che la riuscita di un disco non dipende dal livello tecnico, ché quasi sempre i ‘tecnicismi’ sono privi di ‘anima’ e finiscono con l’essere un elemento negativo.
E, infine, può essere un metro di giudizio valido quello che concerne il suo carattere innovativo e la sua originalità?
Questo, almeno secondo me, è l’aspetto più controverso. Innanzi tutto, prima di poter giudicare l’originalità, bisognerebbe aver ascoltato ‘tutta’ la musica che viene suonata in ogni parte del globo, e sfido chiunque ad esibire una conoscenza simile. In secondo luogo è assolutamente da provare che un disco originale possa essere automaticamente anche un disco importante e bello. Quanto all’innovazione, poi, c’è solo da ridere: diffidate di chi vi dice che un disco è destinato ad influenzare la musica a venire perché è semplicemente un disonesto, essendo perfettamente cosciente che fra 100 anni nessuno potrà andare a cercarlo, prenderlo per un orecchio e dargli un calcio in culo dicendo ‘sei un emerito somaro’. C’è poco da fare, ma l’unica certezza sta nel fatto che il futuro non è nostro.
Non sarebbe meglio, allora, ridurre il nostro ruolo a cronisti del presente e depositari di un passato che, quello sì, ci appartiene?
Cosa dire, alla luce di quanto scritto sopra, a proposito di questo disco di Victor Joaquim?
È infatti un disco estremamente piacevole da ascoltare e che pure riesce a coinvolgere emotivamente, soprattutto per l’uso della voce (calda e avvolgente) di Filipa Hora e delle chitarre di Emídio Buchino e Joã Hora (rispettivamente in Thinking Moments e Moments Of Emptiness). Anche la padronanza tecnica strumentale, e la qualità di registrazione, si situano in una gamma medio-alta. Non si tratta certo di un lavoro particolarmente ‘nuovo’ ed ‘originale’, si pone nella scia di pagine come “Endless Summer” e “v3”, e pure sprizza contemporaneità da tutti i pori. Gli 8 ‘momenti’ + 1 di “Flow”, visti sotto questi aspetti, sono sicuramente appetibili e meritano di essere conosciuti. Di converso si può obiettare che “Flow” contiene molti cliché e pochi motivi che possano farlo preferire ad uno dei tanti dischi simili che abbondano nei circuiti del mercato discografico.
Soprattutto se lo valutiamo in relazione alla scena elettronica portoghese, al cui interno Joaquim è uno dei personaggi di punta, appare chiaro come quella scena abbia raggiunto uno standard piuttosto elevato oltre il quale, per il momento, pare improbabile che possa spingersi, e da ciò ne deriva la confezione di materiali sempre più perfezionati e sempre meno stupefacenti (spero di sbagliarmi, ma l’impressione è quella di uno stallo creativo). In definitiva “Flow” è quel genere di disco che, se lo comprate, lo ascoltate con piacere e non vi pentite dell’acquisto, ma se poi vi succede di perderlo non ne sentite certamente la mancanza.

> sands-zine.com - 10.2006

Attention, ceci est un disque Cronica !!!
Comme d'habitude avec ce label, on est partagé entre l'a priori positif (on a rarement été déçu par les sorties du label portugais), et l'appréhension d'avoir a faire à un disque un peu plus difficile que les autres, conceptuel, abscons.
Cronica Electronica est toujours à la limite, mais s'en sort généralement à merveille en produisant une musique à la fois difficile et sensible.
Flow ne déroge pas à la règle, bien au contraire. Il s'agit peut-être là de la toute meilleure sortie du label, avec ici le troisième album de cet artiste portugais qui a collaboré notamment avec Harald Sack Ziegler, @c, O.Blaat, Scanner, Marc Behrens, ou Simon Fisher Turner pour n'en citer que quelques uns.
Pour ce deuxième album chez Cronica, Vitor Joaquim travail sur l'intime, sur la mémoire et sur l'interaction entre l'humain et les machines, en attribuant à celles-ci une dose d'humanité.
On le verra plus tard, le résultat est troublant.
A propos d'intime et de mémoire, les huit titres qui composent cet album contiennent le terme "Moments" : Moments of Skin, Slow Moments, Thinking Moments, Moments of Emptiness, ou ce Moments of Your Time qui ouvre l'album en ne laissant aucun doute quant à la qualité globale de l'album. Finesse, délicatesse et précision sonore semblent guider l'artiste qui agence ici clicks, tintements acoustiques, grésillements de machine, discours sur ondes radio et hésitations de laptops. L'occupation de l'espace sonore rassure en se faisant douce et cotonneuse, et les constructions (utilisation de boucles plus ou moins perceptibles) contribuent à l'aspect hypnotique de l'album.
Enchaînement parfait pour parler de Slow Moments et de l'imbrication Hommes-Machines.
Une intro que je renierais pas AGF avec une voix féminine au filtrage cybernétique nous parle de la confrontation entre le besoin d'intimité et le danger que représente celle-ci. Vitor Joaquim traite de la nature humaine et de ses contradictions dans une musique alliant douceurs et fractures, voix et machines arides. L'imbrication sera à son apogée sur Moments of Sync et Thinking Moments où une machine semble respirer. Les hésitations vocales nous rappellent d'ailleurs le récent Wordless de Yannis Kyriakides qui supprimait tout les mots d'interviews pour ne garder que les soupirs, respirations et autres bruitages buccaux.
Parfois, une guitare fait son apparition, révélant une mélodie immédiate qui se faufile entre les machines, ou se faisant justement déformée, syncopée et mise en boucle par l'électronique pour un résultat toujours envoûtant et hypnotique (Moments of Emptiness).
Pour ceux qui ne connaîtraient pas encore ce label, Flow constitue un excellent point d'entrée, tout à fait accessible tout en restant fidèle au son du label. Les autres craqueront une nouvelle fois et reviendront certainement sur cet artiste talentueux.

> Fabrice Allard

> etherreal - 09.2006

Portuguese multimedia artist Vitor Joaquim has traced a singular path over the last 25 years starting with improvised music in 1982 and then composing for dance, theater, cinema, video, installations and multimedia. "Flow" is his latest work on the Crónica label. The main concept here is the confrontation between voice and computer and in almost all the tracks we can find heavily processed breathings and whispers among the swarming layers of processed instruments or even a sensual female voice(Filipa Hora's) as in the second track. Ranging from dissonant glitch to languid and dreamlike sounds with bursts of high-speed grainy loops - "Flow" is a complex work, only sometimes indulging in melodic moments. A fresh update to Markus Popp's lesson and surely a perfect listening for the autumn and winter to come

> Andrea
(IT) 9.2006

Joaquim is a key figure in Portuguese electronic music, as well as being heavily involved in a number of cross-media activities (film, visual arts, dance, etc). Flow takes as its basis the human voice (provided by fellow Crónica artist Filipa Hora) and synthesizes a bleak but beautiful electronic meditation on the nature of identity. "Slow Moments" is strongly reminiscent of AGF's fractured confessionals, with Hora's conspirational whisper negotiating a path through a sonic landscape littered with other samples of her voice. "Thinking Moments" captures the tiny sounds of moistened lips and snatched breath, adding heavily processed guitar to the mix, creating an engagingly intimate tone poem. Joaquim has a great gift for drawing out rhythmic and melodic patterns from the shards of sound produced by his software, giving Flow a pop heart that could see it finding favour with fans of the more "consumer-friendly" glitchery of Fennesz, Microstoria, et al.

> Keith Moliné
The Wire (UK) - 08.2006

Cronica is back with a couple of releases, a better exposure and the usual good quality of their outputs just to say that if you haven't noticed that, Portugal like Spain is an epicentre for what concerns electronic music nowadays. As you can see from their back catalogue Cronica is not one of those label into "easy electronic" at every coast, but more 360° oriented and this cd is the proof of it all. Vitor Joaquim pushes on the pedal of experimental/abstract electronic music and the result is probably closer to sound art than to ordinary electronic recording. Cold inexpressive music right from the first intentions, Joaquim put every single layer trying to define gradually every chapter. A profusion of resonators, high frequencies and glitchy beats and synthesized vocals (be it a vocoder or a laptop) but the record is really tight and compact sound wise. "Flow" comes out from that experimental electronic music that floats nowhere in the middle of contemporary electronic research post Stockhausen and isolationism a-la late eighties early nineties. Probably it's just me but the closest reference that came to my mind was Main above all when the band post-Loop was completely lost in abstraction. This cd feature an interesting clip with which the music of Joaquim gets along really well, it’s a soft and simple computer work but it has a strange manga atmosphere while the global watching is stoning.

> Andrea Ferraris
(IT) 8.2006

More than in her earlier videos, in flow lia works with nearly ornamental forms that run riot over the screen to the sound created by
Vitor Joaquim. The basic elements, as always, are extremely delicate graphic figures. At first they seem like microbiological particles with Art Deco or Jugendstil buds and calyxes sprouting from them, which are then covered by a dense mesh resembling bamboo later. Its aesthetic character apparently refers to minimalistic art from the Far East. The resulting impression of rapid movement comes not from the elements themselves, which are in fact motionless, but from the thousandfold multiplication they experience without interruption.
“Becoming and Disappearing”: lia’s images are in perfect harmony with Joaquim’s music. Inspired by Laurie Anderson’s repetitive song-speech of the 1980s, a woman’s voice embedded in a reduced electronic soundscape dominates.
While the music follows a circular structure, avoiding peaks in its intonation, the elements’ growth on the visual level becomes increasingly dense and impenetrable. Proliferating incessantly, the individual graphics pile up in layers, taking on the appearance of sculptural figures that dissolve quickly in the never-ending flow of new forms.
A continuous blood-red pulsation which covers the entire screen gives the ornamental mesh a corporal aspect from the very beginning, and accentuates the organic aspect simulated by means of movement on the screen.
And what began as the seed of small circular grains disappears by the video’s end in a field of white light, an implosion of the constant growth into itself.

> Gerald Weber
> sixpackfilm
(Translation: Steve Wilder)

... Ciò che però in buona sostanza manca alle due opere citate è calore  e capacità di emozionare (ed emozionarsi). Qualità che ritroviamo  invece nel nuovo album del compositore portoghese Vitor Joaquim. E  se, in effetti, Flow è il titolo della traccia video ad opera di  Lia, il flusso che attraversa il disco è - come da titolazione -  fatto di momenti, momenti di silenzio, momenti di vuoto, momenti  pensanti, momenti lenti etc. Una musica semplicemente e densamente  sussurrata, instabile e barcollante, abbarbicata intorno alla voce  di Filipa Hora che in Moments of Silence diventa balbettante  mormorio alla Laurie Anderson, e poi frammenti rubati a  trasmissioni televisive e a un vecchio disco pubblicato dalla  stessa etichetta ("La Strada is on Fire" del 2003, n.d.r.) e ancora  le chitarre di Emídio Buchinho e João Hora. In poche parole libera  di rivelarsi intima e trepidante, come molta musica d'ambito  contiguo - fatalmente impigliata nei pixel di quel buco nero che è  ormai diventato il laptop - non riesce più a fare. (7/8)

> Nicola  Catalano
> Blow Up, June (IT)

"A mais recente edição da editora lusa Crónica Electrónica é dedicada ao trabalho do artista português da expressão sonora e da improvisação electrónica, Vítor Joaquim. Depois de "La Strada is on Fire (and We Are All Naked)" – Crónica Electrónica 03, de 2003 – Vítor Joaquim apresenta uma bem conseguida sequência de deambulações e confrontos de sons produzidos e trabalhados através de máquinaria electrónica, parcialmente gravados ao vivo no festival "Ó da Guarda", em Julho de 2005. Reforçado com os contributos pós-produção de Emídio Buchinho (guitarra no tema Thinking Moments), de João Hora (guitarra em Moments of Emptiness) e dos murmúrios vocalizados de Filipa Hora, ao fluxo dominante de "Flow" somam-se ainda sons aleatórios de televisão, tudo processado e montado numa bem articulada combinação organo-digital. Feixes de vibrações mínimas nascem, crescem e amplificam-se resolutamente até se desvanecerem e darem lugar a novas e interessantes figuras que convergem para o silêncio fecundo e inicial. Micro-electrónica, ruído modulado e glitch digital convivem no interior de paisagens surreais, que, sem seguirem um único figurino estilístico, apelam a um imaginário melancólico de líquidos borbulhantes que se misturam e fundem numa narrativa porventura mais concisa e refinada que em anteriores trabalhos. "Flow" (Crónica Electrónica 25) possui uma acentuada característica cinemática em que som e drama evoluem a par e passo, traduzindo-se em luxuriante prazer audiovisual. Excelente."

> Eduardo V Chagas
jazzearredores.blogspot.com (PT)

"For the past two decades, Portuguese electronic composer Vitor Joaquim has worked in a number of mediums.  Besides music, he also likes to create works of video, dance, theatre and multimedia installations.  Latest release bearing his name, "Flow" is a strangely restrained affair that tickles the ears.  In fact, it doesn't just tickle, his sounds mostly tease.  He's excellent at producing paradigm shifts of subtle force.  Atmospherics created through random TV sounds, guitars and occasional vocals are as disturbing as they are revelatory.  Besides the frequent changes in landscapes - from a high-pitched drone of the TV set to subtle processed guitars [played by Emídio Buchinho and Joăo Hora]  - Joaquim prefers to employ a grating sound - this is the sound of something that is rough around the edges.  Nothing clean can be heard in this work.  If anything, it's mucky and jagged with a mind of its own.  How do you reconcile squeaky assaults of noise with recordings of a TV?  How do you merge low humming voice [provided by Filipa Hora] with that of static sound?  He certainly mastered his laptop as a fully operational instrument.  Glitches and pops, the hums and the flows are like family members at a picnic.  Unique to the point of extremes and beautifully obtuse, "Flow" does anything but flow."

> Tom Sekowski
Gaz-Eta (PL)

"This is a well-known Portuguese electronic musician who started as a music improviser in 1982.
He works in many art forms such as video, musical compositions for cinema, dance, theatre, installalations and multimedia.
His works has been released in several labels such as Crónica Electrónica, dOc, Ananana and he has composed the piece ‘Sensations Maker’ comprised on a series of three CD-ROM's published for Expo 98 that took place in Lisbon. He also has made several appearances in compilations on Crónica, Portuguese and now based in Canada Tomané Vinagreiro’s antmanuvMicro, Argentine’s Fuga Discos and Galician Alg-a netlabel.
"Flow" is presented with an amazing and abstract artwork by Austrian’s Lia, the own Joaquim and Miguel Carvalhais [member of @C along with Pedro Tudela].
The rippled dance wings express their different colors on the video made by Lia that comes with this CD.
Joaquim through his laptop confront glitches, micro electronic and hum with the processed voice of Filipa Hora. Also this confrontation lets glimpse a disquieting prose of Hora who express his fear by a possible danger on the intimacy and therefore she avoids that somebody approaches her and at the end she asks for silence....
After this communication between the machine and the synthetic voice, repetitive and mechanical sounds conformed by textures that contain noises; static and micro digital errors."

>Guillermo Escudero
> Loop.cl  May  2006 (CL)