“El Espíritu de los Tiempos” is the new and fourth album by Lucius Works Here, the name under which we find Shak Benavides, a great connoisseur of the history of popular and avant-garde music and the soul of Teslafm.net, one of the best-known music diffusion platforms in Barcelona.
In “El Espíritu de los Tiempos” or “Zeitgeist”, translation in German, we find an A-side made up of a single 23-minute piece in which we can distinguish three indivisible parts. The introduction is based on the concatenation of ambient and dissonant sounds that gradually thread together until they become complementary and give way to the development (second part). It is here that Shak Benavides recreates the romantic spirit of the 19th century through the sonority of the neighing of horses, or his own footsteps on the stone cobblestones. The bass line and the dub rhythm that sustains this central part of the piece fades away and gives way to a more serious and atmospherically charged part, the denouement. This side A, which bears the same name as the album, tries to represent the romantic “spirit” of the 19th century, the socio-economic environment prevailing for that particular historical period.
Side B contains 7 well differentiated pieces, starting with “El nacimiento de la tragedia”, title of the first track of this Side B, a work inspired by F. Nietzsche and “The birth of tragedy from the spirit of music”, the musical piece is a sonorous representation of the duality of two opposing but complementary forces that govern art: the Dionysian force and the Apollonian force.
“Amour des Tigres” is inspired by the platonic love affair between Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine (1871-1875). The piece begins with the first line of the poem “A moi. L’histoire d’une de mes follies…. “by A. Rimbaud, and at the end, the last phrase of the poem “Il pleure dans mon coeur…” by P. Verlaine, opening and closing a piece where dissonance and strings stand out. The third cut on Side B, “Incendio en el corazón”, is a much more rhythmic, percussive piece, with a post-punk and rebellious electronic touch.
“Frank Embree, number 4” contains a phonograph cylinder recording from 1899, which tells of the case of Frank Embree (1880 – Fayette, 22 July 1899). The composition is nourished by the notes of a piano, the thread of the track which, as it progresses, fills with darkness, the sonorous image of that sinister case referred to above. In “La profunda noche secreta del mundo”, Lucius Works Here imagines and recreates a night in a forest, close to the tracks of a 19th century steam train, while “Darul întunecat” is a particularly dark piece where bass and rhythm predominate. The track begins with Romanian klezmer music.
The album closes with “Perdido en la feria de corazones”, a track where Benavides recreates the atmosphere of a 19th century amusement park, which is the artist’s perception of human relationships, but above all of sentimental relationships.
Thus, “El Espíritu de los Tiempos” is a moving and personal album, suggestive and experimental, full of historical and philosophical references that are the guiding thread of this sound creation. Benavides uses sound resources in an unusual way to shape songs that oscillate between minimalism and ambient, making his project unique in the current music scene, both nationally and internationally.
Text by: Ruth García Núñez de Arenas