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Emusic - 2017 - "I Suoni Della Viterbo Sotterranea"

(66:27; San Luca Sound)


TRACK LIST:                  

1. Fall 24:34
2. Ascent 24:34
3. Variation No. 1 17:19

Stefano Pontani - guitars, loops
Marco Guidolotti - saxophones
Riccardo Marinmi - synthesizer

Prolusion. Italian project Emusic is, from what I can understand, something of a creative collective rather than a band project as such. The concept they explore is to use electromagnetic data from geophysical surveys to create music - or a foundation for musical explorations. So far one album has been released under the Emusic name: "I Suoni Della Viterbo Sotterranea", which was made available through Italian label San Luca Sound.

Analysis. The Emusic project certainly does bring some new elements to the table. I have come across similar ventures before, like the use of seismic data to create music, but the music created in the very specific manner of this project does have a rather different sound to it. That the data turned music is also accompanied by instrumentation does give this album a different dimension as well, although I'm unsure as to the extent of the instrumentalists involvement in this case. The three long tracks on this album all share one common denominator: They are all ambient in overall and general nature. Floating, fluctuating, gliding sounds, mainly careful and unobtrusive, is the order of the day. The manner in which the different sounds come and go is what maintains tension for this core foundation, and then different identity marks are applied to these landscapes, as well as different trajectories as to how these soundscapes develop. Opening cut 'Fall' starts out with rather firm, light toned textures, gradually filled with layers of fluctuating, surging and circulating sound textures, and at some point a shimmering noise texture of the kind that makes me think of post-rock is established as the backbone in which everything else revolves. The accompanying sounds are then slowly and gradually deepened in tone, prior to an extended fade-out towards silence. A journey from the surface and into the depths of the Earth a rather logical conclusion as to what this musical journey may represent. Hypnotic and well assembled, but the fade-out becomes overly long in this case, and I did find that this creation lost too much momentum due to that. The second track 'Ascent' pretty much replicates the first one, but starts where the former ended and ends where the first one started. The sounds strikes me as marginally different, but comparable, but in this case a dual saxophone presence is added in after five minutes or so, opening as a more careful, standalone single saxophone and then introducing a second saxophone later on, both of these instruments becoming increasingly expressive throughout this more than 24 minutes long journey. The ambient textures and post-rock like motif is given something of a jazz flavoring in other words, and that combined with a rather more efficient end phase that isn't as extended as on the first track makes this creation the winner on this album as far as I am concerned. This CD concludes with the track 'Variation No. 1', the shortest construction on this album at a mere 17 minutes in length. On this occasion the floating and fluctuating textures are rather more gentle and careful in scope and presence, with what sounds like an electric guitar replicating similar sounds and textures as the presumed converted electromagnetic data. A beautiful, blissful and dream-laden landscape of the kind that can probably be best described as ambient jazz, but also one suffering from being just a bit too uniform throughout. An in depth study of a photograph if you like, rather than a movie transporting you from somewhere and to a final destination.

Conclusion. This is most certainly innovative and creative music, the musicians involved supplementing transformed data into musical journeys that does have a striking character and sound to them. Not the kind of music I suspect will have a potentially broad audience reach though, but if you are equally interested and intrigued by ambient music and instrumental jazz this is an album that you should probably give a listen at some point.

Progmessor: August 8th 2019
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Emusic Facebook

San Luca Sound



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