Giulio Aldinucci gets good and atmospheric on Goccia, his first album in four years. There is plenty to be heard here, with long swathes of thick ambience and properly rhythmic sections freely interchanging: and he hasn’t forgotten to imbue everything with melodies either. Goccia is released on CD by the Home Normal label.
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Giulio Aldinucci’s new one openers with a quite heartbreaking operatic synth paean… accompanied by samples of flies buzzing about the place. At first I had to scan my immediate vicinity to make sure the sound wasn’t coming from elsewhere, since it’s arguably one of my least favourite sounds ever, but the sound belongs to “The Rule of Forgetting”, along with its nighttime setting of crickets conversing and dusk falling.
Fear not: this is a Home Normal cut and it’s beautiful. Aldinucci just never takes the traditional tack when it comes to swelling drones -- a track like “Immobile, blu” teases the sort of gorgeous, swaying chords of Stars of the Lid but gives them a glassiness, moulding the same sort of serenity but seeing how it sounds alongside a bit of uncertainty. Turns out it’s all the more compelling: the dread-laced piano of “Los ojos de” is full of the same textural lushness, using it as a means to juxtapose fear with a bit of drone bliss -- percussive sounds suggest reality alongside escapism, refusing to let one be without the other.
A commenter on this record’s Bandcamp has written that Aldinucci is “teaching us that the unexpected can be the most beautiful gift of all if you welcome it like an old friend”, and I don’t think I can put it better than that -- a lot of the sound design on this record should be shocking, even gruelling, but it’s put together with zero transgression -- everything feels like it should be there, be it the wafts of hiss, the momentary plucks, or the huge chords -- however they’re processed with one another, it feels easy to put your trust in Aldinucci’s mesmerizing architecture.
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