[Reviewed by stark]
A five-minute piece as a base and its six interpretations performed by the musician’s friends and acquaintances. This is the recipe for the CD of Bruno Sanfilippo from Barcelona. Short, quite charming, not necessarily essential in a global music context, but in fact pleasantly warm and soothing. Although I personally wouldn’t sell it for a full-length price. More likely I’d treat is as an EP or a bonus disc for a regular CD.
The original track, “Upon Contact”, is a piano impression built on the basis of individual sounds, scraps of melody and silence. Despite being rather static, still a lot more things happen here than on the whole “Tiento De Las Nieves” by Thomas Köner. However, this fragment is minimal and leisured like a July evening over the Mediterranean Sea. The first of the musician’s colleagues, Francesco Giannico, adds just a bit of urban field recordings and a nice electronic texture, which doesn’t exactly change the colour of the composition, but makes it move from the coast to the terrace of some townhouse in Barcelona, and allows us to tenderly observes the microdramas of a beloved city.
Olan Mill reinterprets Sanfilippo’s track very subtly, focusing on a delicate alteration of the original sound of the instrument rather than implementing his own new elements. With a passive listen you may not even catch the changes on the sound. But I have to say that it works. The world slows down even more, I feel sleepier and sleepier. A similar policy is applied by Leonardo Rosado by the addition of a slight touch of reverb and organic space to the track.
At Jorge Haro’s interpretation we have some loops and an approach that’s a bit more experimental, but it doesn’t ruin the melancholy aspect of the original. I don’t know whether this reinterpretation isn’t the one most to my liking – perhaps because it comes the closest to the pure core of ambient music. Quivion focuses on the very same slice of “Upon Contact”, however there’s more reverb, interferences in the original form, and even some strange dynamics deep in the background.
Hior Chronik comes as the last one, and he nicely fastens the whole thing together, as beyond some slightly colored electronics in the background, this interpretation probably departs the least from the initial Bruno Sanfilippo version. To be honest, if I hadn’t known I’d never have guessed that this is an album to which a number of different musicians have contributed. Sounds like the work of one artist subtly experimenting with his own work: no extravagance, no change beyond recognition. The whole sounds very well ; the original piece was mastered by Taylor Deupree , the processed ones by Ian Hawgood. A friendly, unpretentious release, but I wouldn’t buy it for the price of a normal CD. Not enough new and truly exquisite stuff.