[Reviewed by stark]
Right now I’m sitting in my parents’ empty house. They ‘re away on holiday so I have to take care of the house and cats. It’s far from the center of Katowice, probably the most industrial city in Poland. But here it’s very quiet – when you go outside you can feel that time is on hold. Sometimes you can hear the echo of a passing train, but it’s probably the only tiny bit of civilization that every now and then sneaks into the country bliss. And when I listen to “Laguna” by the Italian project TVSF (which stands for The Volume Settings Folder), it sounds strangely appropriate.
Although the beginning is quite intense, as the track called “1983” indeed takes us back to that year or even further in the past, as it is based on vintage synth sounds which – to my satisfaction – are living a second youth right now, and becoming popular among ambient musicians once again. And after five minutes the music calms down and starts to drift in ambient/post rock oceans. The compositions are based on guitars, piano, probably strings (as in the third track, “Terra Emersa”) and field recordings, and have this specific seaside feeling that may bring to mind images of empty boardwalks and beaches during autumn evenings. Static in nature, not at all rushed, calming and conducive to reminiscence – such is this music. Even though the artist comes from Italy, I can hear the Japanese ambient and post rock influences, like Mono from one side and Ryiuchi Sakamoto (especially from his collaborations with Fennesz) from the other. Don’t expect anything unpredictable or groundbreaking here, that’s not the point. Rather than exploring the moon he decided to follow his emotions and turn them into sounds. Because you know, I feel I’ve heard these configurations of sounds more than once or twice in the past, as it’s so difficult to create something unique in ambient or in music in general. But I can’t help that it works again. It’s possible that a year from now if I were to randomly take this CD from a shelf and play it, it would still give me a lot of pleasure, but I wouldn’t even remember the name of the project.
“Laguna” is released on LP, CD and in digital form. All versions are very aesthetically designed and strictly limited. So if you like to wallow in nostalgic ambient soundscapes grab it while you can. If not, then you don’t need it anyway.