Going deep inside a hypnotic recording derived from a Serbian brass band.
It’s up to you to choose which of the below pieces you want to listen to first: Ricardo Villalobos’ epic 37-minute house track, one as relentlessly, hypnotically intense and thoughtful as a Steve Reich or LaMonte Young piece, or the source material, which won first prize at a Serbian Trumpet Festival a few decades back. Chances are you won’t make it through the length of Villalobos’ ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer’ without your curiosity getting the better of you and listening to the original, but absorbing his 2006 work in its entirety without doing so will deliver a huge payoff.
Heard on the dance floor, ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer’ is a track to get lost in: The first 10 minutes feature an extended opening salvo, one that relies on a melodic set of trumpet bursts, a humming beat, metronomic high-hat and lots of tripped-out effects roaming through the midrange. Then, at 10:20, after you’ve been lured into a morphing, rhythmic wormhole, an extended trumpet solo arrives, one that, though originally performed by the Serbian band, vibes like a mariachi intro or New Orleans jazz trumpeter. Resist the urge to fast-forward to that mark, though; again, the effect is diminished if haven’t first gotten gobsmacked by the ten minutes of rich, hypnotic repetition that preceded it.
Now check out the source material, called ‘Pobjednicki Cocek’ and performed by Blehorkestar Bakija Bakic, which this writer hadn’t heard until very recently –– long after he’d already became a serious ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer’ obsessive. No wonder Villalobos ripped the recording whole-hog and remade it in his image.
Those not familiar with the Chilean techno and house producer’s work across the past two decades should commit to getting lost in his sublime world. A king of minimalist repetition whose mixes illustrate his mastery of creating tension and release via labyrinthine peaks and valleys, Villalobos is a regular presence in the European club scene but, at least to our knowledge, has never performed in the United States. That absence has resulted in him remaining relatively obscure over here.
But back to ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer.’
At the halfway point of the track, Villalobos moves as if through a k-hole into a dubbed-out reverb-fest, one that causes the murmuring bass-kick to flutter like a hiccuping heart. Tones and textures drift in unexpectedly, causing the rhythm to fluctuate as if in response. At this point you should turn it up a little louder. If you haven’t already shut off your notifications and silenced your ringer, you need to recenter yourself and start again.
In addition to the 12-inch version, the compact disc contains a second 35-minute remix that moves as if in a subterranean tunnel cruising along on an inevitable, unwavering journey.
Once you’ve done your first immersive dive into the composition’s nooks and crannies, repeat the exercise. Like twisting a kaleidoscope until the jewel-pieces shift, with each new dive into ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer’ a shimmering new visage reveals itself.