by Un.Real

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    The Appendix to Apéndice
    In 1996, after witnessing a short-haired Kirk Hammett soaking up some Willem de Kooning paintings at the Whitney Museum, I asked my pal and long time collaborator Gardy Pérez to make a soundtrack based on the drawings of a sketchbook I had been working on for years. I had the sketchbook in my bag so I showed it to him, right there at the museum. The doodles depicted stick people levitating cones, plantains floating in space, and other weird existentialist stuff dealing with trucks and power lines. But Hammett’s short hair left us kind of dumbfounded and I wasn’t specific with Gardy. I figured we would begin work on the soundtrack upon his return to Puerto Rico. During those years Gardy was completing graduate studies at the Pratt Institute. He was also the leader of Un.Real, a Shoegaze band, and an influential figure in the Puerto Rican music scene. Months later Gardy would return to Puerto Rico with Apéndice, an unexpected masterpiece that, luckily, had very little to do my doodles.
    Not many people know of Apéndice. It was played several times in public during an exhibition at Raíces Gallery and only 3 copies were made - none of which were sold. I just heard it again recently and believe me when I say to you that you can hear the residue of lethargic feelings in the magnetically coated analog tracks of that cassette. But to hear this ethereal residue one must dust off the Walkman, put on the headphones, and press “play.” If you don’t hear anything at first, just relax, give it time and enjoy the white noise. Keep in mind that in 1996 things moved slower and technology did not control our senses, so try to focus. Look at the archaic cassette player and notice how the guide rollers move the magnetic tape ever so swiftly through the slippery liner between the spools and the shell. That’s when your ears will capture Apéndice’s nuanced sensation. It’s the feeling one gets during the subset of false awakenings and fast dreams before really waking up from sleep.
    To take us there, Gardy constructs a wall of dense guitar whirls and textures created by filtering guitar sounds through an endless array of pedals and effects. His lyrics are cryptic and monotone reflections on sarcasm. Critics have catalogued his music as the “sound of laziness” or “Isabela on delay” (Isabela is a small, sleepy surf town on Puerto Rico’s west coast), and Apéndice maintains much of that pessimistic sound throughout 6 compositions with an overall duration of 26 minutes.
    In the first track “De Regreso” (The Return), Gardy builds juxtapositions between the transient experience of riding a subway train and the soothing sounds of waves and sand. As the background noise reverberates like the echo in the tunnel before the train arrives, the listener feels a false sense of being in two places at the same time.
    In “Nina Luna” Gardy takes the listener back into that confounded, moody state first encountered in “De Regreso” by juxtaposing a muffled monologue, delivered via walkie-talkie, with a rising sonic wave coming from what seems to be a synth guitar, collapses upon itself. From within this sonic dissonant whirlpool one can make out a few of the sentences shouted through the walkie-talkie: “I am with myself, that’s the distance we agreed upon.”
    Fictitious field recordings comprise “Subterráneo” and “Vertigo.” The latter has a Trip Hop sheen to it. Drum patterns have been pasted over the murmurs of a crowd from which a loud voice seems to scream “No te oigo” (I can’t hear you). Next is “Recurrente,” the perfect Dream Pop song built of layers upon layers of sonic material.
    “Martes 1,” a composition that functions more as an exercise in noise pollution than a song, closes the recording. Here we can hear the loop of a telephone ringer overlapping the dissonant echoes one hears in a subway station. From a distance, a loud speaker seems to announce a scheduled departure or arrival (one can’t really tell), as the ringer goes unanswered for two minutes until the composition fades out. I’m not completely sure Gardy is addressing a specific place or a memory of a time gone by, but the fact that no one ever picks up the phone provokes anguish for the listener, and since there is no resolution to the story, it leads me to believe that we are the appendix of Gardy Pérez’s emotional residue.
    Pedro Vélez
    May 29, 2013
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Recorded between 1995-1998, originally recorded on a Tascam Portastudio 07. The soundtrack to a Pedro Velez Art exhibit.


released February 15, 1996

Music by Gardy Perez

Recorded on a Tascam Portastudio 07

Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Gardy Perez

Years: 1995-1998

Artwork by: Pedro Velez. Design: Gardy Perez



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Un.Real Isabela, Puerto Rico

Un.Real (Pronounced in Spanish), Is Puerto Rico's first Shoegaze band.

Conceived after the death of MTV's Alt. Nation. The band starts in Isabela, PR with their first show at the legendary Longbranch Pub in 1995. It has continued over the years as a medium for Perez and company to create unrestricted music. ... more

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