Pregnant Void Records
TBR: 22nd May
The Electro Review is in Rome today to check out the third studio release from Massimo Amato. Recorded over three years between 2007 and 2010, this compendium of unheard material features several well-known musicians from Massimo's inner circle. With a reputation for making use of natural instruments in conjunction with analogue sound synthesisers, the hands on approach leaves us in no doubt as to the proficiency of the artist. It was at an electronic music festival where label chief Simone Gatto spotted Massimo Amato performing and offered him a slot on Pregnant Void. This is the result of the clash of design, and the two adventures compliment each other perfectly. As Amato stands on stage among dials and switches, you'll see him playing a harmonium while using children's toys as instruments.
The album opens with a spaced-out vocal sample from Imi Gavin. Her voice spreads out over timeless oceans while mysterious dreamy chimes and vibrating tones seep and soothe across the waters. Intro, Time Capsule is a delicately beautiful delve into sonic enchantment. It doesn't last too long, it just builds a fascinating mood. It fades into blank for a brief moment before a plucking bass meets more cosmic synthesiser tones to create a sifting paddle through ambient screens. To Love The Love whisks us away on a dreamy and relaxed journey through a river gently chopping in the wind. An edgy melody pushes through with plucks and chimes playing in unison across a jagged formation. The black notes shimmer among the composition, giving slicing and cutting elements to the arpeggios and runs that ping-pong their emotional qualities across the spacious table.
The third number opens with static and distortion. Electronic beeps make a rhythmic and shrill percussion. This is joined by a hypnotic trumpet from Massimo Berizzi. A subtle vocal sample washes across as if over an old style telephone and the whole begins to form a bubble. Strings and static shimmer in blue surroundings while the beautiful soul of the brass-wind pushes a sail on our little boat. Gazing into distances, the track invites us to close down and let the rhythm of life itself be our guide. Dreaming Of You is a soundtrack to pleasant imaginations. It delivers the goods and makes way for track four, Lightwaves. Singing synthesiser and cosmic stretches of sound draw out in droning high pitched skies. Like travelling alongside a streaming ray of light, its electromagnetic stability pushing it ever onward through the fabric of reality, we get to sonically observe the distinct character of the most elemental of substances.
Lost Sunsets, the title track of this slow moving and spell-binding album, begins with ghostly drawn out synthesiser. Mellow chords, reaching reverberations, and shimmer bring on a cushioned and colourful scene. Piano tinkles like reflected starlight across ripples while the under-sound swells and subsides in neat packets. A bell tree shines from the sides as its units are struck gently in a wash of percussion. The multitonal effect like rain on the pavement, dream inspiring and relaxing sounds drift forwards and backwards as we sway in their currents. Next is Nightflower. It opens on moody and sombre tones, a mixture of instruments giving a wholesome and heavy feel to the production. Bass and electronic hums are melded together in a gloopy and emotional slow moving lava. An air of magic and mysticism hangs in the atmosphere, subtle nods towards RPG games gives this a sense of searching through shaded forest corridors. Then, a piano melody stands up from the nether and begins to explain in its own words why the cosmos crackles tonight.
Next up is a smooth and silky introduction. It builds and fuzzes in amplitude and warmth before a moderately high pitched tone cuts through. Bringing with it a rhythm made of movable parts and shaking percussion, a chiming melody sunders through the massive ambience. A combination of fluffy mechanics and crunchy liquidity brings a complex array of sounds and energies which all sit equally between a captivating sonic fulcrum. Folksong, with synth work by Gigi Masin, takes us into the past while allowing the present moment to keep us neatly packaged within safety. It gently builds down in uniform steps, opening the space for something new. What could be a synthetic violin makes headway and churns out something a little more Eastern. With a heavy pull on the rotating level, and a push on the right functions, the music box reveals another chapter. More upbeat drums sprinkle a layer of glittering pebbles across the mix. Plucked metallic strings boing in small boxes with sporadic and uplifting tunes. The whole combines to build a bivouac of broken melodies and lightly positioned pieces. Blue Petals has an exotic flavour, one which takes us far away from our immediate illusions.
Following from this comes I Found Love. An improvised guitar plucks chord positions across a spacious sonic from a mild synthesiser. Harmonica tones sprawl out, in a shanty of combining metallic huffs, to knit a homely and childish element to the foray. These are greeted by wandering piano notes that dance over the highest keys, before a deep and resounding male vocal reports on finding love. The blissful naivety to the notion of closing one's eyes to another's faults and flaws leaves us open to all manner of unhelpfulness. Let's hope the love is right and not misplaced. It ends on Outro, The Red Carpet. More vocals from Imi Gavin work wonders with a reverse guitar effect played in by Mario Fob. These instruments gel with the tranquil and ambient sounds of Massimo Amato as the analogue electronics fuse and transist their outputs in ever changing ways.
The whole album, Lost Sunsets by Massimo Amato, is a wonderful escape into experimental and highly approachable sonic sculptures. Expect beauty, wonder, and edge to all leave their mark after listening to this a few times.
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