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Jarguna — Retrospective of Deep Days 2006-2023
(Projekt ARC292, 2023, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-11-10

Retrospective of Deep Days 2006-2023 Cover art

The prolific Italian sound sculptor Marco Billi (a.k.a. Jarguna) began recording his soundtracks back in 2006, and with Retrospective of Deep Days he celebrates 50 releases by offering listeners an archive that includes a piece from each one of those 50 recordings over the years. Many of his pieces are album length, so some of those pieces are excerpted as necessary — as it is this archival release is seven and a half hours in length, so this serves as a sampler of everything he has done thus far, both solo and in collaboration with other like-minded travellers, and offers the listener an entry point into his soundworld. His music is by and large floating ambient, though like his countryman and sometimes-collaborator Alio Die, this can take all kinds of forms using a variety of acoustic and electronic instrumentation; at its core these are sounds of imagination and mysticism, what one might consider suitable for meditation, relaxation, or slumber. Some of the pieces could be considered dark ambient or industrial endeavors, menacing but inviting, some featuring found sounds and other field recordings, even voice samples, while others offer elements of world music (the bansuri flute of collaborator Lorenzo Squillari on “Soul of Ganga” is one such case in point, while Jarguna offers a world of electronic and percussive sounds to the mix). “Ceremony of the Ayahuasca” exemplifies a tribal sound with mysterious vocalizations all within a seeming jungle setting, while other pieces feature a tribal beat in the form of a steady cadence using hand drums, “Shuar Tales” from Animas-k being a superb example, or “Mound Builders” from Transmissions from Serpent Mound with Chris Russell. The 50 cuts are ordered end-to-end in such a way to create a smooth transition through the various styles presented, and not necessarily any sort of chronological considerations, although every track is documented with an indicator of where it fell chronologically within Jarguna’s works thus far. One needs to understand it’s a lot of music to absorb, and probably best taken in smaller doses of maybe an hour or two, maybe ten  tracks at a time, shorter immersions until familiarity ensues but everything in this seven-plus hour program of Retrospective of Deep Days is certainly essential listening to ubderstand the full panorama of Jarguna’s soundworld.

Filed under: Archives, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Jarguna (Marco Billi)

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