Info Obsil Distances 
"Distances"
by Obsil
Disasters By Choice (CDNUY019)
"Ancora Vento Fra Le Campane Di Davide"
"Brucia; Reciso Luccicante"
"Terra Rossa [Rendering] Bruma Dalla Zolle"

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fn issue October 2011
'N-Plants' - Biosphere
'Sky Snails' - The Electric Golem
'Echo Park' - Willamette
'Gramophone Transmissions' - Broken Harbour
'Negative Space' - Blue Sausage Infant
'Home Patterning' - compilation
'Polychromatic Integers' - Richard Lainhart
'Generate Records' - compilation
'Sung In Broken Symmetry' - Aquarelle



Obsil is a musical project of Italian sound artist Giulio Aldinucci, who has also participated in international sound installations and composed for acoustic instruments. Although the music of Obsil (short for OBserving SILence) is electronic, acoustic instruments also present powerful avatars throughout his sophomore album Distances. Most prominent is the piano, showing up somewhere on every track, from flashes of sparkling color behind a haze of field recordings, to the rhythmic ostinato at the heart of Terra Rossa. Aldinucci processes the piano's distinctive sonic identity into recognizable blocks that become anchors in different pieces, solidifying the instruments central role on the album. Several pieces use lush orchestral strings with strong supporting counter-melodies or harmonic backgrounds, giving the music a diffusive romantic glow.

Although Obsil's use of percussion is sparing and used for color rather than propulsion, the album moves quickly through its thirteen tracks. He builds momentum through accumulation, each layer moving at its own internal gait, coming together at primary structural points to propel the music forward. The tracks are by turns dramatic and atmospheric, often with quick jump cuts reminiscent of Aldinucci's extensive soundtrack work. The cinematic feeling is strong on tracks like Ancora Vento Fra Le Campane Di Davide, where interspersed field recordings shift like flashbacks, distant memories accompanied by electric piano. The album's last track, and its longest, is a shimmering drone that dissolves into an elegiac melody in the strings, a fitting conclusion to this collection of short tracks.

More than just a collection of moods and sketches, Distances is an exploration of song form, with timbres, and rhythmic figures phrased into integrated textures, forming the structural equivalent of chorus and verse. A repetitive figure in the opening track, Brucia; reciso luccicante, yields to tangled piano chords, then a summertime romp in the fields, a music box dancer backed with windy strings, separated by casual sonic interludes. Obsil's sound world is a refreshing direct approach to an electronic song. Straddling a field to encompass the contemporary glitch of 12k and the post-classical romanticism of Type and Miasmah, Distances is a creative and charming collection of piano-based electronica.

Review by Caleb Deupree

 

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