2010 Top 10s and 20s
Will Long (Celer)

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
Celer & Yui Onodera
Dead Leaf Echo
Ferraris & Uggeri
Ernesto Ferreyra
Flying Horseman
The Foreign Exchange
Les Fragments de la Nuit
Ghost and Tape
Andrew Hargreaves
Head Of Wantastiquet
Anders Ilar
Quintana Jacobsma
Leafcutter John
Clem Leek
The Lickets
The Machine
My Fun
Ostendorf, Zoubek, Lauzier
Part Timer
Phillips + Hara
RV Paintings
Set In Sand
Matt Shoemaker
Sun City Girls
Ben Swire
Collin Thomas
Upward Arrows

Compilations / Mixes
Exp. Dance Breaks 36
Lee Jones
The Moon Comes Closer
Note of Seconds

Jasper TX
Simon Scott
Thorsten Soltau / Weiss
Jace Syntax & BlackJack

Andrea Ferraris & Matteo Uggeri: Autumn is Coming, We're All in Slow Motion

Andrea Ferraris and Matteo Uggeri clearly aren't secretive about the origins of their tracks' sound sources. Every one of the eight verbose titles on their Autumn is Coming, We're All in Slow Motion reads like a literal transcription of sonic events that occur within each piece. That makes it possible for the listener to imagine how “Whispers, Screams and Steps in a Library, Disables Playing with Bagatelle” and “Friend Sleeping, People Swimming in the Pool, Doors, Workout and Water Bottles,” for example, might sound prior to hearing them. As pivotal a presence as field recordings (gathered from around Italy and central Europe) are in these settings, they're not field recordings only. Ferraris and Matteo Uggeri—ably assisted by musical contributors Andrea Serrapiglio on cello and Mujika Easel on vocals and piano—pair the field recorded material with musical elements and in doing so pitch their sonic tent midway between the two. Acoustic and electric guitars (e-bow too), winsome wordless vocals, bass, and plaintive cello figures accompany the myriad activities—steps crunching on leaves, the whirr of kids riding skateboards, and people riding bicycles, among other things—that occur within a given piece. Not only does the recording inhabit a middle ground between folk-ambient sound sculpting and field recordings, it does the same between a structured approach to melody-based composition and a more spontaneous and open-ended focus on experimental gestures. When a piece meanders through multiple episodes, it comes to feel like events unfolding in the kind of story where the reader is never quite sure where it'll go next.

What distinguishes the material further is that rather than the music functioning as a separate entity from the field recordings, the two often intertwine—the music appearing to comment on the extra-musical events in play, and the field recording elements threading themselves into the musical fabric in similar manner. Musical elements bob to the surface, sometimes seeping in amongst the found sounds and at other times taking over entirely. We hear, then, in one piece the wheeze of harmonium and purr of drum brushes mix with the sounds of a creaking church door and the attendant sounds of a wedding celebration, and in another the rhythmic movement of footsteps clumping through snow mixed with the cello's moan and Easel's piano and vocal punctuations. Nowhere is that integration between the multiple forces felt more strongly than during “Wetting the Garden and Hitting Metal Sculptures, Dog Snarl, Gramophone Crackling and Playing” where the tinkle of a glockenspiel, sprinkle of piano, and bass pulse interact with percussive clatter and engine noise. Even so, the album's loveliest moment arrives during the subsequent track, “Zapping TV at Home, Old Clock Charing and the Walking on the Wooden Floor in a Castle,” when strums and tinkling cascades swell into wondrous flourishes.

December 2010