Airchamber3 ~ Peripheral

fratto023_frontAirchamber3, an experimental trio comprised of Andrea Ferraris (Ics) and Andrea and Luca Serrapiglio, has expanded its roster.  On the new album they are joined by Vincenzo Vassi, Dominic Cramp, Barbara DeDominicis and Luminance Ratio.  Together, the collective makes a loud and exciting improvisational racket that might be construed as a traffic jam of instruments, all facing the same direction and waiting for an accident to clear.  Never is this association more apparent than on “Tunnel Vision”, which includes the sound of emergency radio responders.  If honking the horn doesn’t help, try playing the saxophone, synth and guitar, imitating the sound of sirens.  Will the traffic clear?  Probably not.  Will those stuck in traffic be entertained?  Certainly, although this music is not for most ~ its abrasive edges and sullen grumbles will compel experimental fans to roll down their windows, while others consider jumping the divider and driving in the opposite direction.  But the best experimental music – and the fratto9 label has been responsible for a laudable amount – makes no apology for itself, and seeks no definition.

Take for example the unusual, yet structured “Dopamine Yuppie Dub”, in which a melodic sitar-esque passage loops until it ties itself into a knot, choking the speed from a vocal sample.  Or the swirling cello of “The buried secret inside my ventricles”, an aural metaphor for a hidden heart condition.  It’s not what most audiences are used to hearing, but it’s more evocative than pop (“If I ever did that, I think I’d have a heart attack”, no offense to Demi Lovato).  When the two elements – cello and slowed speech – combine on “Recollecting pieces of treasured memories”, the impact is visceral.  The power is amplified because it’s first been withheld.

After the yarn has been unraveling for seven tracks, DeDominicis’ voice enters, migrating on the backs on birds.  “A body is a map of bruises” is astonishing for its contrast with the prior tracks, but it contains a sense of internal contrast as well, like sugar resting on a bed of salt.  Once DeDominicus exits, she leaves a sweet trail that lingers like the memory of a loved one leaving a hospital bedside.  By the 14-minute closer, the patient is left to face their own demons, internal and external.  The track drips like a neglected IV, passing into silence for six and a half minutes before exiting on a peaceful shore.  Heaven or hypoxia?  The answer remains delightfully unclear.  (Richard Allen)

Release date:  14 October

Available here

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