Alio Die & Lorenzo Montanà — The Threshold of Beauty
(Projekt PRO, 2019, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-06-15
These are two names that any floating ambient music enthusiast can trust with certainty, and much like Alio Die’s collaboration with Mathias Grassow Expanding Horizon way back in 2003, Milan based Alio Die (real name Stefano Musso) does some of his his finest work in collaboration with others. Their previous work together The Holographic Codex from 2015 was a mere first step but one that would point the way to this, their second work, a full three years in the making. While Alio Die is credited with zither, psaltery, sitar, voices, drones and loops and field recordings, and Montanà with piano, echo strings, electronics and effects, the amount of studio processing present tends to mask the instrumentation in a mysterious fog of ambient electronics, acoustic instrumentation, treated voices and found sounds all combined together at once in varying layers of gossamer sonic shimmer, like the dynamic soundtrack to a fever dream, and only occasionally reveals its true sonic identity. There are subtle found sounds that intertwine with the web of mystery that all work together to create the magical yet ever-meandering drift. There are six discrete tracks that together make up nearly a one hour program, but each piece seems to lead to the next, like a series of portals into the same world but from slightly altered perspectives, like different episodes of an ongoing dream. The Threshold of Beauty makes for great listening in repet mode as ongoing accompaniment to slumber, but its general shimmering and meandering qualities also work as a backdrop for meditation. All taken, a true work of sonic art that wholly lives up to its title.
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