As I've listened to the tape, it's hit me that I know very little about that region of the world, so perhaps it's better for my understanding than a possible release from the Pacific Rim. One great aspect of Punata is its first side, eponymous to the title, during which the listener is treated to 26 minutes of filed recordings from Bolivia. Presented in a raw, cell-phone captured way, Punata has similar vibes to many of the Bishop brothers' Sublime Frequencies releases: seemingly true to life vignettes of street-level societal action, with intimate conversational snippets. The most fascinating passage for this listener is one in which a marching band rocks out with abandon. That said, the seeming sound of windswept prairies of some sort towards the very end are compellingly spooky.
Disaster Amnesiac must admit to enjoying the b-side, No Punata, a bit more, as it features Araya's own musical pursuits. He plays the Peruvian Cajon, a quite simply structured percussive box with a large hole in its middle. Felipe experiments with the Cajon's tones and textures, utilizing extended techniques such as rubbing, sliding, kneading, and dropping it. It's really quite cool to hear musicians from different parts of the world experimenting upon instruments that are pretty much indigenous to them. Perhaps that's also something that Bryan finds really compelling? Also neat is the ancient sound of the Tarka, an Andean wind instrument that Araya pairs with Cajon to beautiful effect. No Punata ends with a rolling crescendo, during which Felipe sounds impressively unhinged and live, bringing things to a close with wild sawing action of a very loner nature. It's the sound of musician and instrument melding in the simplest, yet most intimate of ways.
After listening to Punata, one wonders what other sounds eh? Records has lined up, from parts far-flung, for the curious aural aficionado. If you're looking for raw sounds of Sur America, this cassette could be a fine place at which to start.