Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Alio Die & Lorenzo Montanà — Dialogue of Water
(Projekt 409, 2023, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-06-10
Whenever one sees the name Alio Die on a recording (real name = Stefano Musso), it’s guaranteed to be something exceptional, a piece of warm floating ambient music steeped in amazing beauty. I have yet to be proven wrong on that. Similarly, Lorenzo Montanà is a name that can be trusted, a masterful producer and composer of dozens of soundtracks, his ambient works flow with warmth, feeling, and grace. With both of these artists working together in a collaboration, one has the best of everything. Dialogue of Water is the third such collaboration on the Projekt label, following Holographic Codex (2015) and more recently, The Threshold of Beauty (2019), both of which are stunning examples of flowing sound sculptures. The seven pieces presented here combine exotic acoustic instrumentation with a strong ethnic flavor with gentle textural elements, synths, drones, electronics, and loops, with occasional deep percussives. How the elements combine and work together offer a seemingly endless variety of introspective, reflective sounds that rarely duplicate or repeat. Nearly a year in the making, the recording was completed in December 2022, with the post-production work done in the months that follow. For his part, Alio Die is credited with zither, psaltery, rebab, duduk, loops, and drones, bringing much of the Eastern flavor that one hears in the pieces. Montanà brings piano, synthesizers, electronics, string textures, samples, and programming. The pieces vary in length from a mere four minutes to well over fifteen, though all are equally effective and powerful, with the glistening shimmering sounds of acousic instrumentation mingling freely with synth textures, found sounds, all swirling in a powerful, magical sonic stew. Hardly a second floats by where the richness, depth and expansive nature of this thoroughly immersive blend of mystical sounds doesn’t call forth some kind of spiritual response from the listener. I probably said something similar about their two previous releases, and of course I meant it just as much then as I do now regarding this latest cosmic joint-effort.
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