Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy: Sintetizzatrice
Sintetizzatrice represents a bit of a left-turn for Donato Dozzy, whose reputation has been built on the elegant ambient-techno productions he's issued under his own name and in partnership with Giuseppe Tilleci (Neel) as Voices from the Lake. But in this first recorded collaboration between Dozzy and Rome-based vocalist Anna Caragnano, no sounds other than Caragnano's vocals appear.
The recording doesn't lack for stimulation, however: in applying layering and effects to her voice, Dozzy conjures a diverse array of dazzling effects throughout the nine songs. Sintetizzatrice presents miniature vocal universes, each one fleeting and stylistically different from the next. Though experimentation and exploration are central to the project, issues of melody and accessibility aren't ignored. Among other things, Sintetizzatrice is noteworthy for achieving such a satisfying balance between experimentation and accessibility.
Caragnano's voice swells to an unintelligible babble in “Introduzione,” after which a more musical dimension enters into the recording via “Starcloud,” where breathy exhalations collectively form an ethereal drone, and “Fraledune,” a choir-like treatment whose blur exudes a rather kosmische character. The playful vocal experiments that colour “Festa (A Mottola)” give it the character of a Meredith Monk piece, even if it's intended, formally speaking, to pay homage to the traditional music found in the rural region where Dozzy's mother and Caragnano were born and raised.
While Sintetizzatrice is anything but a techno recording, Dozzy's techno sensibility clearly surfaces during “Parola” in the way Caragnano's vocals are shaped into a swinging dance groove. It's a fascinating project, to be sure, but be forewarned: the nine songs on Sintetizzatrice total a mere twenty-four minutes, which makes calling it an album a stretch when it more invites a mini-album or EP classification.