Fabio Perletta’s latest work as Øe delves full-body into the bit stream, the sequence of zeroes and ones that defines our daily existence. While listening, one can’t help but think of the changes of the past few decades, as human beings have transferred from an analogue existence to a digital one. Automobiles, microwaves, televisions, cell phones, stop lights, cash registers, and yes, recordings – all controlled by code. Those who have lived through the transition may simultaneously cherish the change and yearn for older, simpler times.
“February | Seek” is the sound of interrupted and sampled data: static, slices, beeps. If we were able to hear all of our devices at once, they might sound a bit like this. And yet these sounds are oddly comforting, perhaps due to the (almost) subliminal addition of water trickles recorded at a natural reserve in Abruzzo, Italy. Such integration is a testimony to the power of the possible: a blended environment in which neither side seeks dominance and nature’s allure is recalled. Consider the worth of a GPS when one is lost in the woods. Hansel and Gretel would have been a lot safer.
“Seadawn | .Ksd” s resounds with gleaming metal, recalling the cutlery and kitchen play of Pawn; ambient drones and washes form a warm background froth. One begins to wonder at the safety of sounds: is it their familiarity that leads us to let our guard down? First nature, then household, then the bit stream? Just as one begins to grow accustomed to Transfer‘s digital face, “Sad | Jitter” lands with birdsong and a gentle rain (or waterfall), reminding us of how far we’ve come, and perhaps how out of touch we’ve grown. As the track progresses, a guitar is introduced, another warm sound that says yes, music is still made this way as well. By “Hatsuyuki | D Quant”, the outer layers have all grown smooth, an indication that all sides have given up the fight and learned to live in peace.
To record such an album in such a location must have seemed contradictory, as impulses drifted in different directions. Perletta wants his worlds to coexist, and coaxes the physical streams and bit streams to flow as one. Transfer could have been an album at war with itself; instead, it’s one of synthesis, a modern blend that preserves the old while incorporating the new. To add a twist to a famous quote: no sound left behind. (Richard Allen)