V/A ~ Interi Coprimi 16

We love all the benefit releases we’ve been seeing lately, as they highlight the music industry’s desire to give. Stochastic Resonance is donating all of the proceeds from Interi Coprimi 16 to the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani to support research on Covid-19, while Bandcamp is waiving its own surcharges today to provide an additional boost.

The album’s title refers to the new ways in which artists are making music these days.  Google translate provides an unhelpful “whole cover me,” which doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the general idea is that the contributors connected online, not in the “common denominator” of a studio.  The album’s sub-theme is “music to reflect our moods, mitigate the passage of time, and soothe our temporal fatigue.”  And guess what!  It works!

With titles including “Waiting,” “Quarantine” and “Alert 19,” it’s clear that the artists have the current crisis in mind.  But let’s start by going directly to the best track, Ynaktera’s “Kyrie.”  Church bells toll; a choir begins to sing.  We feel the music as requiem, condolence, consolation.  It’s a stark departure for the album, which for the most part is pulse oriented; but this track is its spiritual center.  The drones begin in an electronic fashion but eventually hum like organ.  Ambient notes dot the landscape like healing medicine.  The bells and beeps, now together, toll the piece home.

There’s plenty more to recommend on this generous release.  In opening track “Black Summer,” Fabio R. Lattuca nudges a bright keyboard melody out of a dark drone, implying some manner of emergence. In contrast, Anacleto Vitolo and Luca Buoninfante present the desolate, lonely “Desertion 44,” which resonates like a haunted, war-torn bunker.  Good luck requesting dTHEd’s “╞5╡იL⍤⅁Ɽдო” or trying to pronounce the title; it’s the sound of things falling apart, including language and music.  But what an engaging disaster!  The title “The Swim Cycle” may be benign, but the music of Domiziano Maselli and Emilio Pozzalini is not; this drone piece sounds like a long, slow drowning.

The closing track, “The Beginning,” hearkens all the way back to the opener.  Matteo Silvestri’s piece is a change of tone, an opening of the blinds.  The oppressive timbres of the earlier tracks are absent here, replaced by a more positive outlook.  This is smart sequencing on a dark album meant to reflect a dark crisis.  The set succeeds in its objective to “reflect our moods,” but this final note is a kind projection of how we might be feeling before too long.  (Richard Allen)

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