M.B.: An Hour With… (Placenta Recordings, 2014)

September 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

M.B.: An Hour With...

M.B.: An Hour With…

Maurizio Bianchi is one of those hyper-prolific artists whose music I’ve always admired but never really delved into, simply because there’s so much of it, so much of it is so hard to find, and how do I really know where to start, or stop? But that’s about to change because now that I’m sitting down and listening to this album, I’m just blown away by how incredible it is. The 4 compositions on here are named by their track lengths (which do add up to exactly an hour), and from the beginning, “Seventeen Minutes And Fifty Seconds” is just hard to turn away from. Every time I listen to it on different speakers and different volume levels, I hear something different. Sometimes it’s icy microscopic glitch, sometimes it’s fluttery insects in thick night air. It doesn’t seem to change throughout much of its duration, but it pulls you in, and then when it does start to shuffle up around the 11 minute mark, it feels like everything’s starting to fly around you and gets you prepared for something chaotic to happen. “Twelve Minutes And Thirteen Seconds” is a long trawl through some dark haunted passageway, with all manners of tints and distortions fraying the edges of your vision. “Eight Minutes And Twenty-Seven Seconds” is tense dark ambient drone, which seems to incubate a glowing dismal orb, with fluid radioactive sparks squirming from it. “Twenty-One Minutes And Twenty-Nine Seconds” has crystalline sound loops which sort of outline a melody, with a calm but vaguely stiff and metallic drone beneath. The sounds very subtly shudder and vibrate if you pay attention, but it’s easy to just get lost and let it all wash over you. The blurb on the back of the jewel case sums up how this album is meditative and relaxing, but at the same time sort of rough. It uses the term “conscientious entertainment”, and questions what to do after you’re done listening and meditating to this album. Good question. It’s not accurate to call this noise or power electronics or industrial, but it’s not a simple ambient or drone record either. All I know is that this is going to sound perfect this winter, and not in some sort of cliched predictable “frostbitten cold bleakness” way.

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