Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2016 - THE WIND COLLECTOR / AS WITNESS OUR HANDS (Othermusic review)

“The last couple of years have seen an explosion of interest in the music that the Italian composer Gigi Masin and his compatriots Alessandro Pizzin and Alessandro Monti were quietly making in Northern Italy in the late '80s and early '90s -- first with Music from Memory's fantastic Masin career retrospective, Talk to the Sea (which made our end of year best list in 2014), and last year's reissue of his impossibly rare ambient debut, Wind. This latest two-CD venture combines my favorite record of his, The Wind Collector, with an additional album's worth of studio demos, rehearsals, ambient sketches, and even covers of songs from the unlikely pairing of Terry Riley and Nick Drake(!). At times wholly ambient, at others led by melodic piano lines, the songs will even occasionally combine ambient soundscapes with the kind of low-key, late-night introspective tune you find on peak John Martyn albums. I don't know if it's a case of synesthesia or what, but it's remarkable how adept these guys are at conjuring the mysterious light of Northern Italy in song. Think of the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio (also from Northern Italy), and it's basically what this music sounds like: a warm, enveloping glow emanating from darkness.” 

(February 18, 2016)
Reviewed by Michael Klausman

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