Francesco Gennari ~ Frammenti

Fans of modular synth, rejoice!  Francesco Gennari‘s training in classical piano and his love for noise punk meet in the middle to produce an electronic, melodic debut.  When these machines were first invented, they were the sound of an imagined future; today the same sounds suggest both nostalgia and sci-fi, serving as a reminder that the robotic future we once dreamt of has not yet arrived.

This future remains slick, clean and orderly.  The sheen of Gennari’s music extends to the blue hues of the cover image, akin to a well-polished appliance, fresh out of the box, without dent or dust.  For now, everything is working just fine.  But Gennari is not content to remain in the realm of the melodic.  Vast surges of energy rush through the music, making a first appearance at 2:32 of “Ardere” (“Burn”), when every circuit decides to fire at once, like an awakening consciousness.  For every lullaby (“Mimesi”), there’s a matching alarm clock.

The synth is so precise that it sounds generative; yet there is a silent hand behind the controls.  In electronic music, it takes a lot of restraint to sound so natural.  That very title (“Mimesi,” meaning “Mimesis”) implies an imitation of the real world, but in the new age may mean the opposite: the real world imitating the computer.  Since Gennari listens to “whispers” from the machine, there’s no telling where the human ends and the program begins, only that the two occasionally dance together (“Pressa”) before taking a breather; or in the computer’s case, a fan break.

Closing track “Emergi” (“Emerge”) suggests a hybrid future that combines the best of both worlds, as if the robotic helmets of Daft Punk were sentient and benign, rather than simply shells.  In this piece the harmonies rise to the surface, culminating in a bright finale, renewing faith that science can still dazzle and that the future need not be feared.  (Richard Allen)

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