From Vivisect to ambience to the newsletter to the website to the blog and back.
Returning from a period of stasis (appropriately for an ambient blog) we are re-energised to provide more solipsism. There will be some reviews, some comments and a new trip-down-memorylane called Things In My Room which combines it all. Thanks for listening
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Andrea Ferraris - three releases
Andrea Ferraris, who is a music journalist and musician sent me three releases that he appears on. These areelectronica and improvisation - Andrea plays guitar, phototheremin, kaoss pad, jack, pedals etc on the various albums.
In Ur he is joined by Mauro Sciaccaluga and Federico Esposito on a similar array of various instruments such as contact mikes,
samples, pedals, violin, vocals, bass; and Baptism and Birthday is a live recording from 2005 that was released privately (see the myspace link). Part I opens with a humming buzz, echoed metallic percussion and thereminliketones. There is a sense of possibility and potential energy as it builds with small bursts and a throbbing. A descending slide enters, and there is a feeling similar to that before a thunderstorm. The entrance of a sample 'There are a lot of hippies who need help' that loops through to the end. Screaming guitars,pulsing percussion and into a textured noise, dense, hard, swirling, pulsing. The sample returns, accompanied by high feedback. There are distorted voices in as a fade with clanging percussion ensues. The
second part is based around seeming restrained chaos - a base of looping layered chopped voices runs through most, often with a drone element. Over this various sounds (guitars, theremintones, feedback) make excursions, slowly industrial-type noises develop - a shouted vocal weaves through, and banging feedback guitar noises. The piece rolls forward with power and subtlety. Towards the end the voices fade out and rumbles, whooshes and stuttering crackly eruptions take the running, wind chimes and voices and a slow wind down. This is exciting and varied improvised electronica.
Ulna Pairs him Valerio Paul - the two playing laptops, Andrea instruments, Paul editing mixing on Karl records. Frctureis an immediately appealing album, based on rhythmic smooth ambient techno - which is a possibly sterile field, but these two have created an engaging warmth. Blckcrssshdereminds me of Porter Ricks with an insistent bass loop building together with with a rapid pulse providing a bed for ambient tones and colours, a delicately balanced dichotomy before a strange scream ending. The next two tracks explore similar territory, mixing ambient and beated components, with expected breaks for short instrumentals before beats return. Both are very enjoyable with excellent sounds and mixing, but seemed a little formulaic. I was wondering where this would go whenSmllprtsrecolleted came along and took a long time to introduce the rhythms, which were uncertain, and showed subtlety and restraint. Faster again for Lndnlvs n, but there is a lovely Middle-eastern feel that gives it a strength, reminding me of the aoundtrack to Exotica. The American west is suggested by the tones and spaces in Lce, slow beats, distant guitar and a quiet simplicity. A searchingly tenuous beginning for Hghfreqncysmbthen a half-hea
rted abstract beat, becoming a bit more hearted and dirty, strings and wind before the break after which this samba gets it a bit more together, but a little madness invades the close. We close with an extended Cldsndyevenngwhich is spacey and spacious in its bobbly development. Empty and varied, a beat in after 5 minutes, awoobly mass squelches to a big tone, and then a playful outro which keeps changing proteanly. Some of the terms here may sound negative - but they aren't - this is polished effective intelligent dance music which appealsparticularly when it moves away from a straight beat and into something more exploratory, which it does for the majority - and the more straightforward beated tracks create a strong balance.
And then Airchamber 3 (on Amirani) with Andrea and lucaSerrapiglio on a range of instruments - guitars, laptops, cello, sax, windcontroller and so on. This was compiled/extracted from improvisations. We open with two shorter tracks (about 3 minutes) - the first In a foreign land scrapes twangs, slide strings and blows with a noisy ambience which is barely controlled after whichThe jaw... is pulsing driving squonking musicality: the drive draws you along with it. Two long (15+ minute) tracks with a short intervention follow. These are subtler and evolving unfolding pieces, involving the cello and longer guitar notes, both are well balanced dark ambiences (Standing by the shell sea mitgiacinto and An unsafe ground to walk on). Ok, they are long extracts from slow sinuous improvisations, which almost test your patience but change and develop to keep focus. Silence makes a dangerous sound is a scrapping creaking piece, long guitar tones and chopped voices. To end the album another pair of shorter tracks - The heart is flat (etc) brings in Alessandro Buzzi on percussion to add a clatteringness to the sax and guitar. And then a brief reprise of Standing ... with more lovely cello. Interestingly, the album has a harsher noisier edge at greater volumes - some of these elements are subdued at quieter volumes, so you can easily control the mood. Very nice improvisations with a good range of sounds.
So - a diverse range here - nice to be able to hear the variety that people can be involved in. Something for everyone here!