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sold out

Monotract - Pagú
LP (New York City / Miami)

Side A:
-con la cabeza en la escuela
-fuckin' randolf
-california k
-part2: in the morning
-birao de lao

Side B:
-ella's song
-hot shine (lechon mix)

Recorded 2001-2002 in Brooklyn & Miami
Monotract: Carlos Giffoni, Nancy Garcia, Roger Rimada

(Independent Mind) Pagú is the latest affront to electronic music by knob-twiddling and button-punching noisicians Monotract from Miami, Florida. Using harsh electronic beats and bleets, ringing synthetic noise-tones, turntable abuse, and manipulated tapes as weapons, Monotract attack with agile precision and impressive ferocity. The results are a devastating mindfuck. Devoted as I may be when I drop the needle, I've only managed to listen to it in its entirety in one sitting a couple of times out of maybe ten attempts. It hurts my head and I think it's giving me an irregular heartbeat. It's like taking a beating. To follow this simile a bit further: much as two fighters earn each other's respect over the course of a grueling bout, Pagú has earned mine. - Edward McElvain

(All Music Guide) Describe Monotract in one word: mad. This trio from Miami can and will use any instrument or musical form to deconstruct, subvert and attack your music beliefs. Guitars, cheap synthesizers, distorted voice, toys, phone messages and computer processing all become part of an electronica freak circus where humor supports the big top. Pagu, released as an LP by Public Eyesore, throws 13 dizzying tracks at the listener in under 40 minutes. We are bounced and thrown from one tune to another in this no-man¹s-land somewhere between experimental electronica, (naive techno which has lost all its naivete) and noise. It is one hell of a ride and most listeners will give up trying to make sense of it all. That¹s the point. Don¹t fight it, accept the fact that anything goes and Pagu turns into a fun-filled adventure into the confines of underground music. 'Con la Cabeza en la Escuela' opens side one with a taste of stupid techno. This side¹s highlight is the two-part 'California,' a noise assault that hides much more craftsmanship than what you¹d expect. The flip side¹s standout is 'Ellen¹s Song,' which is basically a phone message turned into a dyslexic dance floor anthem. 'Hot Sine' arches back to vintage Industrial days. The last two cuts push the aural assault a few notches up, bordering on digital Merzbow in 'Nestron.' Surprisingly, there is a lot of this kind of music out there, but Monotract¹s possesses that level of excitement and obvious involvement that separate the professionals from the amateurs. - Francois Couture

(Aural Innovations no. 24) Monotract are a trio from Miami, Florida who play a wild and free-wheeling brand of experimental electronics. The band consists of Carlos Giffoni, Nancy Garcia and Roger Rimada. Throughout the album the Residents often came to mind, and while the Residents sense of humor is often in evidence, Monotract are much more frantic and include more elements of freeform experimental electronics. They can be fairly noisey too, with lots of mindfucked chaos, brain piercing tones and anguished vocals. But there's lots happening here and amidst the craziness there are usually numerous interesting sounds and patterns developing. Even at their noisiest Monotract manage to produce multiple discernible sound patterns that continually transition through a succession of themes, and in this regard I'm sometimes reminded of the artfully manic whimsy of Vas Deferens Organization. There are also some quieter moments where the band mellow a bit and take the time to concentrate on a few simpler themes, though the listener is quickly catapulted back into the maelstrom. Overall, this was a fun set of thoughtful weirdness and there's enough going on to stand up to repeated listens. - Jerry Kranitz

(Blastitude no. 14) It's hard to know exactly what to expect from a Monotract album. They seem to have pretty much left behind their 'guitar band' roots and are going for a wild mix of crude electronics. (Sounding more and more like their friends in Fukktron and Hair & Nails.) First song on here is a great bit of new-urban swagger, sort of a minimal latino rap song with D.A.F. vibes. Second song is just incomprehensible electronic free-stream, like a bunch of different broken modems making their handshake sounds all at once at worryingly high speeds. Third song is just as glaring/blaring. Are they gonna go eclectic and pull out a 'guitar band' track next? Or are they gonna keep it strictly on the ill-ectronics tip?......................ho-kay, just checking back with ya, a little later during the side....(I was just up an inch or two editing the Modern Lovers review)....and, hey now, the side has just ended, the needle has picked up and returned itself to its cradle, and indeed they did keep it strictly on the illectronics tip for the whole rest of the side. No vocals or guitars to be consciously heard, just strange celestial (electronic) harmonies. Side two has female operatic rant, clumping beats, more strange celestrial harmonies, appropriated answering machine messages, tape edits/glitches making like high-speed boxing, and a great tribal beat-thing late in the side. None of these things ever last very long, with pure hardcore free-stream electronics a constant defining presence, sounding not much different than the Incapacitants vs. [In Spite Of Flaming Creatures] LP that I listened to just before this. The permanence of vinyl has in no way made the group get 'serious' or 'refined' or whatever; this LP is still a fast-changing free-music free-for-all. Out there! - Matt Silcock

(Bananafish no. 17) If your cinematic tastes run toward decdence allegory sci-fi in which scenes from lunar raves would be de rigueur, check the closing credits for Monotract's name. Such films would have to be scored with at least an excerpt or two from their Pagu LP (Public Eyesore). Unbelievably constructed breakbeat, unleavened barbershop harmonies, and melodies gutted by exponential filtration are the budding blocks of Nancy Garcia, Carlos Giffoni, and Roger Rimada's interplanetary jitterbug. It's about as danceable as a sulfide-damaged Jon Hassell album, but hey, thats over-privileged thirtieth-century teenagers for ya. - S. Glass

(Vital Weekly no. 356) The Monotract LP is definetly the most Public Eyeshore release amongst this lot. This trio, Carlos Giffoni, Roger Rimada and Nancy Garcia play around with found sound, electronica, vocals, loops and noise. Relatively short pieces is what they do to keep up the speed of the release. Boring pieces are easily switched with high end, vibrant pieces of noise music. They can do it all, or so it seems. Quite a nice record for its various angles of noise and related music. - Frans de Waard

(Ampersand Etcetera 2003_A) Monotract (Nancy Garcia, Carlos Giffoni & Roger Rimada) pursue a confronting and difficult course of computer glitchy randomish sampled noise presented on vinyl which references the sampling and suggests the developing surface noise. This is an uncompromising album created with layers and loops of sounds that seem to eschew melody or rhythm in general. 'Con la cabeza en la escuela' is a mechanico-electrical loop with rappy vocals over, squeaks, Bulgar women providing a break, followed by varied electronica. In 'fuckin' Randolph' squeaky and scratchyelectro and rumbles slide into computer-game shimmering, then 'Chancleppi' is a twingy twangy dancing perpetual mobile. 'California' scratchy noisey randomness – phones, computers, whatever – becomes a computer voice and a methodically pulsing scratch in 'Part 2: in the morning'. A high tone and the jumbling fades, talking, crackly zipping and more distorted voices. Simpler degrading tones loop and fade through 'Skrantantula' and then faster layers of computer noise with distant crackling in 'Birao de lao'. While there doesn't have to be a side difference, vinyl lends itself to that division (another structural feature lost in most CDs – the song v instrumental side, pop v experimental, suite v short songs). In this case, the difference is a greater appearance of the voice on the second side – musically the difference is subtler but also possibly there. 'Mymagicsister' sounds a bit like the Residents with strange sampled singing before more noisy clatter click. The phone message that opens 'Ella's song' is appropriately distorted when she gives out her numbers, but the whole piece is a log crackle-click of sampley rhythmic music. Squiggly computer music with voices subsumed in it for 'DYNACORP, HADRON, PROMIS' then as close as they come to a song/single – 'Hot shine (lechon mix)' has a strong rhythm, a poem/lyric through, the backing sticks and loops then builds again with a buzz. More rhythm loops in 'Matricula' various srum machines joined by tinny keyboards, scratchy with organ through it before another random computer noise layer ends the album with 'Nestron'. Complex and harsh, with perhaps fewer lighter moments than I usually like, it is nonetheless good to see music like this appearing on vinyl, and continues Public Eyesore's willingness to provide a vehicle for an extraordinary range of new musics. Worth a spin. - Jeremy Keens

(Touching Extremes) Nancy Garcia, Carlos Giffoni and Roger Rimada are Monotract. Their music is as undescribable as you can get, nevertheless it perfectly fits in the Public Eyesore general coordinates of artistic anarchy. Using an enormous amount of sources, tapes, distorted vocals, fractured drum machines, white noise and so forth, "Pagu" (a vinyl release, by the way) is a pastiche that had me reminiscing about Elliott Sharp's "In the land of the Yahoos" - only, with more "home-made" style; also, it's considerably akin to the best RRR situations, where harsh spastic beats and electronic pulses are the choice in most of those recordings. In a word, Monotract put on a big show with pretty economic means; that's a plus for me. - Massimo Ricci

(Absurd) Monotract’s “pagu” their latest installment was something that not only did I enjoy that much but must admit that I consider it far better than their highly acclaimed by many “blaggout” cd that was out a few years ago. where blaggout was a release for which my feelings were ambiguous enough, as there were moments of it that I liked, others that I found boring, and so on, or in other words, I think it was a cool pastiche but should have been shorter… this one, is really phrenetic. The first side gives you the feeling that the trio plays either doped or did the recording and played the tapes in a higher speed for the mastering. Starts w/ a cretine rhythm that sounded so marvelously ridiculous to me… 2nd side is in the same mood, broken sounds, even an industrialish track (& really great!), to give its turn to a more rhythmic piece and ends finally w/ a cool experimentation (& frequential end of side too). you won’t get bored not even a slightest minute while listening to it, bravo carlos, nancy & roger… you’ve made me reach another hilarious low… - Nicolas Malevitsis

(Indieville 2/24/2003) Public Eyesore number 60. Wow. They've come so far. How fitting, then, for them to have chosen to release a nice vinyl LP to celebrate the occasion of their sixtieth release. Well, let me tell you - this certainly is an interesting record. Monotract are the trio of Nancy Garcia, Carlos Giffoni, and Roger Rimada, who have created a whole album's worth of noisy, chaotic electronic crunches and beeps. The sound is not unlike a drill, with a barrage of assorted noises, sounds, and beeps coming at you at a supersonic pace. Little clippets of the chaos are vaguely recognizable - bits of media here, something remotely musical sped up beyond comprehension there - only a little vocal tidbit pops out of the noise every once and a while. Monotract screws around with a whole number of things on Pagú, including beats and occasional musical samples - as far as noise goes, the dense layers of sound on this album offer far more interesting things to gawk at than most of the harsher, abrasive material that comes out nowadays. The occasional breaks from the chaos add some contrast to the mix; for example, "Ella's Song" starts off with an answering machine message, only to blow everything up when the tinny female voice is cut up and ripped apart into a beaty, bleaty sound collage. If you're in the mood for some dense, noisy sound collages, Monotract's Pagú is where you'll want to look. Be warned, though, things get messy. - Matt Shimmer

(Slippytown) Fuggin' huh? Superb hyper electronic crash'n'burn, glitch-rock, hiphop references, harsh angular (non)grooves, noise a-go-go, precision randomizing, a bit o' space float, beautiful damage. Monotract is the NYC-Miami trio of Nancy Garcia, Carlos Giffoni, and Roger Rimada. Excellent. - Eddie Flowers

(STNT 6/19/2003) Ne cherchez pas la demi mesure chez PUBLIC EYESORE, habitué à tout ce qui touche à l'expérimentation, le free, la musique improvisée ou encore tout ce qui découle des bruits liés aux nouvelles technologies... Ces MONOTRACT là font donc parti de cette grande famille dans le registre électronica barge du label ! Des rythmiques en tout genre qui partent dans tous les sens, des sons bien perçants qui rameutent son lot de chiens sauvages, on se prend même à danser la cheville tordue sur ce premier morceau d'une odeur d'un AUTECHRE qu'aurait vécu 2 ans dans un squatt bien dégueulasse, qu'aurait laissé de côté son confort pour s'ouvrir à des choses plus abîmées... Effusions bruitistes, rythmes tout craqués avec son lot de distorsion, de la Noise électro tonitruante qui perce le jour et fait battre la papatte du chien chien tout bourré ! Toi qui aime l'argent et la compétition, écoute ce truc ci, t'auras pour une fois de quoi te poser des questions... - Erwan

(Eld Rich Palmer no. 12) The music that’s worth its format… At last we’ve got someone who’s gone to some trouble to procure their own sound material, had a concept about how to apply it and spent some time at the mixing table, giving a very attractive form to these 13 tracks. With Cornucopia’s Carlos Giffoni at the helm, Monotract have forged this hard-to-define soundwork. It’s a kind of twisted, hard electronica, meant, deliberately or not, to cross the border between orderliness and intuitiveness. A melting-pot of styles and sounds. The constant fluctuation of sonics bordering on noise, techno, break beat make an impression of incessant motion; it seems that any method of making and processing sound available and known to the members of Monotract is actually employed here. The tracks aren’t lengthy but expressive, full of energy and vitality. On the B side the pace decreases; the compositions have some tongue-in-cheek feel to them, but still retain the reminiscences of the other side’s tumults. Very good! - Krzysztof Sadza

(Foundation Reviews) A full-length platter from the ever-changing Monotract. The earliest recording I heard by them, a cassette on White Tapes, made them sound like a pedal-intensive Sonic Youth-oriented jam band. The "Blaggout" CD jettisoned their rocknotions in favor of an oozing electronic pus-scape, the gooey sons n’ daughters of the ‘60s MIT Electronics Lab refugees. "Pagu" is once again something completely different, an intricate blueprint of more "conventional" IDM/breakbeat/drum & bass sounds sharing space with the kind of circuit-bent at-home overload you’d associate with the sputz-mongers of Michigan (Viki, Mammal, Wolf Eyes). The chassis is built like an Autechre drum line, but the body is all sex. Latino raps and chants, acidic squiggles, blankity-blank bleeps and bloops, this is five-legged dance music (you get to bring a date!). "Pagu" has its cake and eats it too…each track is enough of a song that it’s instantly memorable next time you put it on ("Oh yeah, I like this one!"), but is so out of control, it couldn’t possibly make it in any club that wouldn’t have YOU for a dancer. Electroclash, house, IDM, etc. aren’t so much destroyed here as subsumed into the gelatinous body…you occasionally see glimpses of them oozing along the surface, crying out in pain to anyone that could help them, while the mass moves on. Contains enough damage AND listenability to qualify for instant classic status. If I had come upon this record last year, it would have easily made my ten best. - Chris Sienko

(Aiding and Abetting no. 239) There's something about a vaguely-distorted drum machine playing offhand-yet-catchy beats and synthesizer noise that gets me off. There's no other way to explain my attraction to Monotract. The music isn't simple, of course. There are all sorts of ideas flying around in the soup here. And I'm not going to pretend that everything (okay, much of anything) makes sense, though there is a strange sense of order in the way all of this coalesces into something approaching white noise. Except, of course, that it is organized noise. The squalls and shrieks and wails and throbs and scrapes and bleeps do have a purpose. That I can't necessarily discern said purpose doesn't mean the stuff is mindless. And like I said, the album really works for me. I do like abstract noise. It helps me clear my head after spending a day dealing with the travails of a one-year-old. For some reason, disorder in the outside world helps me bring focus to my own inner self. And if nothing else, Monotract is absolutely great for that. - Jon Worley

(KZSU Zookeeper) I apologize this review isn’t as helpful as it might be, but I have a limited vocabulary for talking about music like this. Some of the most experimental electronic music I’ve heard: abrassive screeching without beats and for the most part entirely atonal. Has a very full, potent sound though, and is clearly a very serious attempt at something, I’m just not entirely sure what. As a sidenote, this is the first electronic music I’ve heard more vicious than Squarepusher’s live concerts of the past few years. For chaotic madness, try: 4, or anything else. For a bit of sanity, try: 6. 1) Harsh IDM type beat with vicious screeching electronic noises and a guy speaking Spanish. 2) Essentially no beat. Just screeching mumbling chaotic synths. 3) A Chaotic, manic, atonal mesh of electronic noise. 4) Total chaos. Vicious insistent drill beats and noise completely overwhelms you. I dare you to tell me this isn’t hardcore enough for your show. Entitled ‘California’...I don’t quite see the connection. 5) What sounds like computer modem dialing noises with an ocean of electronic noise coming in and out of focus. A guy comes in at the beginning, the middle, and at the end saying something in Spanish about California. 6) Beautiful track! Out of nowhere we have a simple beautiful melody. The chaos of the album is still here, but it’s latent in the background. A simple click and some hand claps are the only beat a simple echo-y synth carries the tune. 7) Very thin track with various electronics coming in and out. A short collage of sound. 8) Creepy distorted vox muttering nonsense and an assortment of different rhythmic motives in another manic electronic sea. 9) Starts with an answering machine message. Track then uses ultra stripped down beats and synths that are reminiscent of Kraftwerk in combination with the usual screeches and distorted vox. It sounds like someone is playing an actual guitar here, but I really can’t be sure. 10) Another mesh of chaotic bubble-y noise and some sort of distored vox. Like an interlude on an Aphex twin album but harsher. 11) Industrial banging noises and a simple snyth going up and down three notes with a voice saying something. 12) Slightly thinner sound. The usual squeals...13) High-pitched screeching and attacks of noise. - Michael Rosen

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