sx guitar # 2

Any instrument’s true spirit can be instantly, and easily, recognised through her natural voice, expressing and announcing with a confidence and a surety who they truly are through identifiable tones. Yet through experimentation, this voice can just as easily lose itself through limitless lines of effects, and the personality which defined the instrument is suddenly vanquished. An impressive transformation through experimentalism continually fascinates, and the results are usually unbelievably fresh. Melodies are eternally echoed through endless delays, timbres are transformed from tones of purity to electronic glitches, and the instrument’s very essence is lost, cut up and warped beyond all recognition, leading us to new paths, and an amazement at the infinite possibilities on offer. An excitement rises and dawns. Yet, we as listeners must not take for granted the levels of ability required to tame, and ultimately change, an instrument’s voice. The instrument may still speak, but it has now become a chameleon of itself, reforming into a new, alien language; and it makes for a fascinating dialect.

Luis Antero is one artist capable of recreating this call, as his work inside the ever widening spectrum of experimental music is nothing short of hypnotising. Released earlier this year, and recently featured here at A Closer Listen, his beautifully realised set of field recordings, Sonoros Postais, contained a colourfully and consistently vibrant Portuguese postcard viewed through all walks of life. Extensively painting the nation and effectively capturing the essence of Portugal as a country and the life of its people, the recording allowed the listener a closer, highly detailed view inside Portuguese life. Antero’s vivid sounds sketched a deliberate and thoughtful scenery, softly brushing over one’s ears and lulling us with their own, natural ambience. This vividness bloomed out of each recording with a relaxed exuberance, and was effectively an aural postcard sent directly to the listener. It allowed a unique view of both subdued and populated areas, and highlighted the abundance in cultural life of the land by the sea.

It isn’t only Antero’s fully realised field recordings which capture attention, as he also creates highly experimental guitar pieces, where the instrument’s voice becomes enwrapped in a shimmering, deep mysticism, and one where her identity is fully cloaked and never seen without a mask. Similar in experimentation lies Antero’s SX Guitar series; as seen in his field recordings, the music here is too created openly, naturally played out in their own rhythms and intricate harmonies. Antero’s second volume in the series focuses on one, wide and spacious aquatic piece, opposing his first release, which comprised of eleven seperate, experimental portraits – their own unique postcards. Antero continues to explore the same areas of experimentalism as seen in his earlier work, but here he displays a far greater maturity and patience to slowly rotate and allow the music a personal space, in loops of hypnosis.

It could be said that Portugal’s presence is found in his latest addition to the series, focusing on the guitar as an instrument, without the natural sound of the instrument. The first installment was released four years ago, and this entrance shimmers and wavers with a deeply aquatic feel close to the heart of the music. Along with this, there is a personality and vibrancy that recalls his field recording work. Antero’s field recordings were always active, busy without a chaotic streak, meditative and meandering recordings which evoked a lazy siesta in the afternoon heat. It may be easier to record using laptops and computers in the modern age, but it is still an enviable ability to craft something which sounds organic and free-flowing. Antero’s use of a Buddha machine, a laptop and a blue electric guitar are almost non existent to one’s ears; one could be forgiven for thinking a stringed instrument was not involved at any time during the project. Yet, inside the sharp, crystalline tones there runs a hidden fretboard, ringing out in an endless stream of sustain. A multitude of sounds echoes ever outwards, and from one source many are born. Like postcards, Antero is highly adept at capturing the spirit of a place at any one moment in time.

Antero’s work under the alias Out Level allows him to dive deeply into areas of highly experimental music. As an instrument, Antero’s guitar remains forever hidden in a sea of tranquility teeming with electronic glitches and momentary drones. They fade and turn into new, dazzling sonical waters, and it makes for a fluid listen. Looped sections enter and fall back, spiralling in turbulent seas. His music seems to be allwoed the freedom to develop into something all of its own, and this improvisation really allows this addition to breathe underwater.

Like the aquamarine artwork, the music displays richly warm, evocative tones, and an occasional, rotating drone of the deepest kind acts as an effective, soothing undercurrent. Alongside this lay notes which trail off with an icy purpose, perhaps eerily so, communicating the sonarsignals and cries of the deep. Notes flow in and out, blurring with rhythms, shimmering with a beautiful crystal clarity in their cycle of loops.

It may not immediately captivate in the same manner as his field recording work, but as ever, a deep listening experience will be discovered with just hints of patience. Antero is more interested in a developmental piece this time around, rather than a snapshot of differing rhythms and frequencies of his first excursion. I have to say that I find a strong rhythm to the music, a rhythm with no form of percussion, yet one which exists as sure as a heartbeat. And because of this, there is a definite motion; the music can never sink into boredom, and turns into the lightest of voyages, as sparkling, transluscent timbres smoothly pass over the clear, aquatic airwaves.

A cascading waterfall of electronic cycles endlessly, and it is completely immersive in its ambience over all twenty five minutes. In this regard, it is similar to Shinji Masuko’s solo work, most noticeably the relationships between delay and electric guitar. The long-flowing nature of the music allows ample space to breathe and stretch, and while the first set of guitar recordings produced more variety, Antero displays here his greater confidence and mastery and because of this, there is where his increased maturity lies, leading to excitement. Of course, the advantages of focusing purely on one mood inside one piece of music lends it a certain freedom. It’s spacious and unrestricted, and this is what effectively seduces the listener.

Antero’s aquatic ambience, currents of glitches, the presence of a drone, and a delay drenched reverb is like discovering a bursting ecosystem full of life as we descend underwater. The drones sink deeper, into sub aquatic levels of the oceans. The instrument takes on a remarkable transformation, cutting and ever changing. It may lack the warped, distorted melodies of Antero’s first SX Guitar LP, but it seems this was never an intention to repeat what was already achieved to such an interesting effect. Instead, the aim is a largely unstructured piece, and the music can then transcend into a deeper listening experience.

Deep echoes of drones add a heavy substance, entering slowly as we descend the depths, while also creating a smooth and soothing contrast to the shrill pitches under the influence of an endless delay. These deep reverberations may reflect the deep fathoms of both his sound, and the ocean off the Portuguese coastline. SX Guitar #2 propels the listener into the deep, and Antero’s sound remains focused, yet deep. The possibilities for Antero to continue in this vein are seemingly endless, and it will be with a great interest to see what experimental discoveries lay in front. As his notes speak a new language, Antero has created an immersive listen which acts as an effective hypnosis, until we awake from the depths and surface.

James Catchpole / A Closer Listen


 Delay (Guitar Solo # 4)

Do you want to hear some alternative kind of playing guitar? So, go to Biodata netlabel, where you can find a bizarre release of Out Level, called “Delay (Guitar Solo #4)”. The technical point of the album is clear – the artist uses guitar and guitar effects, the leading of which is Delay – a nice instrument for making any sound psychedelic, tending to infinity. Listening to these 5 tracks, you are obligatory to get a feeling of large space, where from different corners strange tickings, howlings and slidings entangle your inner screen. It is just a guitar, but it sounds like something more. Out Level’s music shows, that such an ordinary and habitual musical instrument, as guitar, can reveal itself as a source of new, almost unknown sounding. Though the tracks are named equally and in technical manner, as just the name of the guitar effect, I think, that they have something poetical and mystic in their very essence, because this ambience won’t make you indifferent, it will definitely give rise to new  echoing impressions, and, perhaps, it will give you inspiration to find new properties of everyday things, especially sonic things. So, get some echoes with Out Level – the discoverer of Guitar Terra Incognita.

Kirill Platonkin | agniworld


Strange Sounds Coul Make a Man Happy

And here I was thinking that the man we know all too well from his magnificent field recordings (Luis Antero) had taken a side step into a different cloak (Out Level). But upon checking any profiles for writing a little bit to whet your apetite’s I realize that this is the eleventh release allready! I should rather frown upon myself for not having shared any of his music yet on a previous NTNS radio show. Alas so it is.
After his earlier Website Story released on Just not Normal I can truly say I am flabbergasted with the release Luis now offers. Prepared guitar is the main event in these short tracks. But little is left of the original sounds as these appear more to be sound travels through a space many have not yet meandered. You can today though, and board this delicacy in sounds. While your at it, do take the time to check out his earlier works on XS record, Bypass and Merzbau. Something you may thank me for.
Mark Stolk (Just Not Normal)


Merzbau EP Guitar Solo 

O percurso discográfico de Out Level começou na netlabel Merzbau, de Tiago Sousa. Com o fim da Merzbau à vista, o EP que agora se apresenta funciona pois como (justa) homenagem à editora e ao seu curador.

Merzbau EP Guitar Solo é composto por dois longos temas com guitarra preparada, desde sempre o instrumento de base composicional de Out Level, gravados no dia 28 de Abril de 2009 e funciona como mais um exemplo da exploração de Out Level a este instrumento.


Guitar Solo #  2

Depois de em 2008 ter lançado Estrela EP, pela portuguesa XS Records, um trabalho focado essencialmente em electrónica minimal, Out Level regressa agora com Guitar Solo # 2, pela mão da recentemente criada EdP (Editora do Porto), que, como o próprio nome indica, encontra na guitarra eléctrica instrumento principal e inspiração maior.
Guitar Solo # 2 é composto por 3 temas (Guitar # 1, Guitar # 2 e Guitar # 3) com guitarra eléctrica preparada, onde Out Level explora algumas das possibilidades e potencialidades deste tipo de registo e formas de abordar o instrumento.
As 3 faixas divagam por terrenos exploratórios, assentes em repetições de frases harmónicas, explorando também intervalos de silêncio…
O objectivo, paradigma essencial no universo musical de Out Level, é a exploração e improvisação puras, sempre sob o olhar atento da velha premissa de Kerouac: primeira ideia, melhor ideia.

«Guitar Solo # 2» = 3 tracks with prepared guitar...


Water Recordings 

1º disco com gravações de campo, realizadas nos rios Alva e Alvoco, no concelho de Oliveira do Hospital, no sopé da Serra da Estrela. O tema «City» foi gravado na cidade de Oliveira do Hospital, num dia qualquer à hora de almoço e constitui em Water Recordings uma história à parte...
Water Recordings are pure field recordings made by Out Level (Luís Antero) in Alva and Alvoco rivers, in the centre of Portugal... There's «City», but that's another story...


K - EP 

K - EP constitui uma tentativa de criar paisagens sonoras para o universo gráfico de Enki Bilal...
Soundscapes for the universe of Enki Bilal...


The Bedroom Sessions, Vol. 1 

The Bedroom Sessions - Vol.1 foi gravado entre Março e Abril de 2006, num quarto quase vazio na cidade de Lisboa, tendo por companhia uma guitarra azul e um laptop cinzento, e pretende espelhar o que Out Level vem feito desde a sua origem, em Julho de 2005.

Recorded between Mach and April 2006, in an half empty room in the city of Lisbon, Portugal with a blue guitar and a grey laptop as his only company. This EP is meant to reflect what Out Level has been creating since it's creation in July 2005


10 (prepared guitar solo live) 

1- Recorded Live at Oliveira do Hospital | Caixa de Crédito Auditorium | 10-07-2009 | during soundcheck for concert
2- Recorded Live in Tábua | João Brandão Municipal Library | 10-01-2010 | during concert


sx guitar ep 

«Out Level (aka Luís Antero) is a portuguese artist best known for his Field Recordings works, which he has released on a couple of Netlabels around the world. This time, Luís approached me with a different kind of material: a collection of improv. tracks all made with just his SX prepared guitar.

This short EP spans over 11 tracks of landscape-style guitar solos, presented sometimes in loops, sometimes in short dialogues to one another. At times, it seems that you're hearing something else than a guitar.
Introspective, melodic and experimental, the sx guitar EP experience will surely appeal to both the rocker and the ambient freak inside you.
Highly recommended.» - Pedro Leitão



A Electro Rucini, do Porto, acaba de editar o PrEgUiZzA LP , fruto da colaboração à distância entre Out Level e Xarhope (Samuel Ufus).
Partindo da gravação do concerto de Out Level na Sociedade Guilherme Cossoul, em Dezembro de 2007, Xarope adicionou novos elementos sonoros (bateria, teclas, didgeridoo, electrónica e vozes) recriando, assim, o cenário original. O resultado, que pode ser ouvido e descarregado através do link acima, é uma viagem/homenagem a todo o universo beatnik.
A produção de PrEgUiZzA LP ficou a cargo de Ricardo (ALRUCINI), compositor e curador da Electro Rucini.
Mais info em


Estrela EP 

[...] Uma experiência sensorial que se transforma ao longo de quatro longas faixas, com um carácter marcadamente minimal a unir estes quatro temas que têm em comum um contacto com a realidade sonora e sensorial.
Tiago Morgado | XS Records
A sensorial experience which transforms itself at the course of four long tracks, with a deeply minimal character getting together all those four themes which have in common the contact with a sound reality.


Espaço (I)Limitado - Ao Vivo na Rádio Zero 

Espaço (I)Limitado é o resultado de uma performance musical improvisada com um laptop cinzento no programa 4x3, na Rádio Zero, da autoria de Pedro Lopes. Alguns sons tinham já sido utilizados na peça Experimental Free Radio, também na Zero, e no EP The Bedroom Sessions Vol. 1, editado pela Merzbau em 2006. Outros houve que surgiram ao acaso e no momento e outros ainda pilhados e manipulados em tempo real, à excepção da voz de William Burroughs, que aqui se mantém inalterada.

Recorded from an improvised musical performance with a grey laptop on Pedro Lopes's show "4x3", on Radio Zero. Some of these sounds had already been used for the segment Experimental Free Radio also on Radio Zeroas well as on the EP The Bedroom Sessions Vol. 1, released by Merzbau in 2006. Some sounds appeared by chance and others where sampled and mixed in real time with the exception of the voice of William Burroughs which is kept unaltered.


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