Obsil: Vicino

Giulio Aldinucci's third Obsil—Ob(serving)sil(ence), that is—album is relatively brief at thirty-six minutes yet nevertheless contains a teeming multitude of sounds. Born in Siena in 1981, the Italian electronic musician weaves acoustic instruments, lush classical strings, field recordings, and digital synthesis methods into a nine-track electroacoustic collection. In its iridescent sparkle, Aldinucci's material invites comparison to the music of Susumu Yokota and Marsen Jules. A typical Obsil piece conjures a fairy tale-like oasis that allows the listener to easily transport him/herself into the track's imaginary universe. That template is established clearly at the outset when sunshowers of music boxes, kalimbas, and strings surface in “Poi Gli Alberi Sono Cresciuti” and when clock chimes and field recordings appear during “A Smile in Summer.” Aldinucci's classical-leaning inclinations come into view during “Lenti Silenzi” when billowing strings swell into an impenetrably dense mass of keening sound, and “Pendii (Siena, Metà Gennaio)” similarly registers as a modern classical-styled improv for strings, piano, and field recordings.

There's often a focus on multi-layered textural flow as opposed to melody per se, though “Nebbie D'Ottobre” offers one such case where flute and piano melodies stand out, if fleetingly, from the incessantly mutating flow of sound. That song in particular is a kaleidoscope of rapidly changing scene-painting, with orchestral passages and pulsing pianos alternately bobbing to the track's surface during its six-minute run. If anything, one wishes that Aldinucci would allow his restless material to settle in one place for longer, rather than have it change so rapidly. That's especially felt, to a frustrating degree even, during the closing piece, “Unseen,” when so many parts, so appealing when broached singly, repeatedly collide with another, resulting in something more akin to a collage than a satisfying compositional whole.

April 2011