Papillon – ‘Aqueducts’

Posted by on August 1, 2017


Gonçalo Cardoso, head of UK-based label Discrepant, has a penchant for the exotic and dreamlike. As far as Cardoso’s extended work is concerned, Papillon is a relatively young project. Under the moniker Gonzo, he conducts listeners through sweltering travelogues or dark, ambient meditations on faith and fanaticism, as with his SE Asian Noise(s) and Dies Irae releases respectively. Aqueducts though — his latest as Papillon, following a self-titled debut in 2013 — is an intoxicating and appropriate addition to ever-reliable Los Angeles imprint Dinzu Artefacts’ growing catalogue. They describe it appropriately as a “quasi-mystical crackpot mix of esoteric visions, near death experiences, shamanism, fever deliriums and lucid dreaming.”

Field-recorder in hand, our guide Papillon patiently makes his way with us over rocks and under scant shade, rushing alongside the current, the shrieking of birds all around and strobing glitches leaking into our awareness. Looking through the mind’s eye onto side A is exhilarating, and with a darker turn you might imagine some kind of frantic vision-quest, chewing quinine bark furiously while looking over your shoulder with a jolt at every strange sound. Side B is an even more intensely skewed journey, darkened noise overpowered by heat and dryness, though a live drum interlude midway hinges the two sections.

Stream or order Aqueducts on cassette via Dinzu Artefacts.