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Saturday, 25 July 2009

SubVersion Stop 14: Psychonavigation Records present Zaum Vol.1

Staking a bold claim as ambient compilers, Enrico Coniglio and Emanuele Errante mould their careers to present, feature on and arrange Zaum Vol.1, a selection of specifically commisioned works by Italian ambient artists. Running since 2000 out of Dublin, Ireland, the Psychonavigation labels' compass ranges from electronica to electro to ambient, the latter a cornucopian mainstay of this disc, bending like a yoga student into various shapes, masses and sizes. Pictorially, the desolate artic landscape greets the viewer head-on upon unwrapping, and thematically, it's the perfect ten to be showcased. In the business of freedom, calmness is not arbitrary, and Netherworld, the first artist represented, conjures up a cloud of sadness through "Jostedaal", the low-fi hum emanating like a a gong hit in a lonely cave. Maintaining a solemn outlook, the pithy crackle that enshrouds, and drips carries through an Italian dialogue that resembles an extension of his feats on "Morketid", and contrasts his busy existence in the chaotic realms of inner Rome.

Archetypally, carriages are travelling devices. Veering-off-course occurs on "Daylight Fading Into Evening Silence", a more soothing piece from Enrico Coniglio and Oopohoi, under the Aquadorsa pseudonym. Clicks and pops meld around a repeated wash of dreamy synth interludes. Those following Oophoi's discography from the late nineties onwards will recognise his berth with mellow atmospheres, and the third cut, "ZX-21 Part 1" is a welcome second step up the escalator of affection, from Dario Antonelli. "Thank You" by con_cetta Vs. Antartica, filters the roughage of droney silence, and silences internal demons with a genetically modified spin on ambient dub. Arlo Bigazzi & Arturo Staleri's "Stregatto", the only track with acoustic guitar, and the first with piano, stumbles around with an aura of innocence, at turns soaked in reverb and delay, consecutively to eschew the frivelties of most chillout fare. "Last Love Inside Love" by -On- stoops at a shorter length.

Understanding that part of love means to be dextrous, over the duration it drifts off to a secluded spot in the sequence of tracks, whereby Massimo Liverani's "Primavera" instills an eerie aftertaste that could frighten a wolf, let alone a baby, as such sticking out like a sore thumb, but not strained for cancelling satisfaction. Emanuele Errante re-introduces scuttling insect noises to his composition "Egostasy", whereas the Illachime Quartet suckle bowed strings to warm-bodied violins, producing one of the highlights that avoids pressures for mindless conformity. Luca Formentini's "Avaaz" is the distillate of Deep Chord frozen overnight, all slow-motion, cascading chords and soaring white noise before an entrance of duvet-snug synth enwombs the earlobes. Closer "Amalidieses" by Zoo Di Vetro wipes away the hall, smoke and mirrors with a four-to-the-floor, bulging beat and exact, spoken narrative intermissions.

If you are striving for valuable experiences, it's important to search for those unequivocally tarnished. Lending a larynx to the minority artists, Zaum Vol.1 is no unobservant fabrication, and in days where compilations can sacrifice quality for quantity, it's a breath of fresh air to purchase a CD with a cohesive, alluring arrangement that could vivify even tbe lowest spirits. Succulent like a fish supper, it's not so-laid back you fall over, but rather perks you up, the included and the industry who produces it, to listen with fresh ears.

Purchase: CD
Psychonavigation: MySpace
Psychonavigation: Website

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