Commend There 001

Melanie Velarde — Bez

Melanie Velarde, keeper of temporaryarchives and faithful stenographer of the world’s mysterious blur, returns with Bez, her latest reminiscence of sound. Following her 2016 experience Parcel, the third installment in the Commend See series (a multi-disciplinary, site-inspired collaboration series overseen by our NYC storefront and community space), Bez first appeared as a continuous mix of all new and original material from Velarde for RVNG’s Rinse FM takeover in 2018. Long since extracted from the cloud, Bez reappears in freshly sequenced and expanded form for wider wanders.

Bez nods to the fragile majesty of Parcel, sifting through emotive sound relics sculpted, performed, lost and found by Velarde, then thread together improvisationally and often inconceivably. Her music conjures a warbled waltz, swaying to the dream time signatures of a buried cinematic score. Take the woodblock bossa sway of “Another Para,” its joy manifested in Velarde’s accompanying video, which in true temporaryarchives fashion transforms a capsule moment into an enlightening beam of ebullient childhood joy; or “Bez,” where vocal fragments murmur over swimming tones and a patient beat. Bez speaks to scenes deep in our subconscious either lived or dreamed, yet so full of soul we treat them as real.

Other songs of Bez sashay, as if bribed by a breeze; chirping cicadas and avians here, noodling loops and organs there. “Los” scatters formless energy waves over a bleating subterrain, “Mon” pulls us into a sweet and storied timeline, and “Tomorrow” ties up Bez’s yarn with an ode to possibility, somersaulting between grace and goof in toylike rhythm-melody before tumbling into a rainshower.