Donato Dozzy decided to make this record using nothing but a selection of mouth harps, which he has treated and layered into a bizarre landscape of noises. It’s an odd, but certainly impressive piece of work. The Loud Silence is part of a series that Further Records are releasing that feature only one instrument.
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Perhaps reading about this album’s creation before listening would have better prepared me for what on first listen came as somewhat of a shock. I’m a big fan of lots of Italian producer Donato Dozzy’s techno/ ambient/ acid productions and would consider myself familiar with his sound, so never in a zillion years was I expecting what I thought sounded like electrified jaw harps. A post listen read confirmed that was exactly what I was hearing. Then I clocked the picture on the cover and the penny dropped. That first listen was on fairly low volume and so the jaw harp sounds seemed to dominate the mix and all I could think of was Rolf Harris i.e proper twangy sounds. Dozzy know’s what he’s doing so I tried again, increasing the volume and you know, maybe this isn’t such a radical departure from previous works after all. In some ways he’s using the instrument in a similar way to his use of the Roland TB-303. Yes folks mouth harp acid!
Opening track ‘Personal Rock’ has the instrument fairly recognisable; a clear statement of intent as to what he’s doing. As it’s split across the stereo field it has a similar strange effect to some of Hecker or EVOL's radical computer music although Dozzy uses processed field recordings/ found sounds lower in the mix to create something far less sterile. ‘Cross Panorama’ is chilled ambient that could have appeared on his brilliant ‘K’ album. Here the harp’s subtler use echoes in the distance and sounds really quite tranquil. ‘The Loud Silence’ slowly builds tension, the harp becomes acidic sounding; like pure electricity and reminds me of the acid on ye olde Source Experience tune ‘Elektra’ from way back on R&S. ‘The Net’ gets all gloopy liquid acid dub. ‘Downhill To The Sea’ could almost soundtrack some beautiful natural world time-lapse film of flowers blossoming and changing weather systems. A deep bassline and trickling acid flowing and branching out into complex spatiotemporal patterns. ‘Concert For Sails’ is so fluidic sounding if you happen to need a wee, you’ll be in serious danger of having a little ‘accident’. The bubbling liquid sounds pouring from the speakers are so tangible I feel I could dive into them and get wet. The super trippy ‘Exit The Acropolis’ closes the album and had me feeling like I’d transformed into some kind of protoplasmic invertebrate jelly hanging out with plankton.
After my initial disappointment/ bewilderment with ‘The Loud Silence’ I’m glad I pursued the album -- third time lucky as they say, although a couple of tracks my ears still find just too twangy. The entire record carries Dozzy’s very distinctive sound despite his use of peculiar tools as sound sources. The results something familiar yet simultaneously original.
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- The Loud Silence by Donato Dozzy
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