[Reviewed by stark]
This is the first CD release by Templezone, although its founder, Giorgio Ricci, has been active in the scene since the 80s. And after listening to “Neosphera” this appears to be more than obvious, as the first word that came to my mind was “professional”.
Which can be considered in a positive and negative light, because as we know the focus on production often means neglecting the core, the very soul of music, the emotions. And I think this is a trap that mostly experienced musicians sometimes fall into. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind some more madness and unpredictability on “Neosphera”, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a good album. It’s sort of dark industrial, not the violent one, based on mid-tempo rhythmic patterns and drone backgrounds. It reminds me a little bit of some [ant-zen] artists. What seems interesting to me is that apart from the experimental dark ambient opener “Eismeer” (do I hear some field recordings there?) each consecutive track seems calmer, more atmospheric, perhaps even melancholic. Starting with “On”, enriched with some distorted vocals, disturbing, quite aggressive and raw, especially when compared to the following compositions, like “Ashram” which has a vague ritual feeling, with a distant drone somehow reminiscent of aliquote singing. Then we got a night city panorama on “For”, a truly exquisite track with ornamentations as subtle as the stars on a dark sky. “Grindahvalur” means “pilot whale” in Faroese – I didn’t notice any sea references in this vintage-sounding composition itself, except perhaps for the vast space of its ambient foundation. But it’s kind of a sad piece; perhaps it is some sort of requiem for a dying species. You probably know (or should know) about Grindadráp, the Faroe Islands yearly “tradition” of the massive slaughtering of pilot whales. It’s one of the most disgusting and sickening symbols of the contemporary condition of a shitty creature called human. The album ends with two versions of “Plastic Love”, the first one a catchy piece with melodic synths and industrial incrustations, similar at some points to what Bad Sector does. In the Scar Remix Giorgio adds some robotic singing, which gives a slight touch of synthwave to the whole song.
“Professional” and “essential”, such characterizations are suitable for “Neosphera”. No useless sounds here, the album is carved like a classic sculpture. Which – as I said – may be the right or the wrong choice. Personally, I don’t mind some tweaks or random glitches in the music, as those perfectly polished albums sound like the work of an artificial intelligence to me. In this case it didn’t upset me though, probably because Giorgio Ricci possesses the talent of composing catchy songs and melodies, which in this genre is not exactly a common thing. The album was released by FinalMuzik in a edition of 300 copies.