Pardon, did I stutter? Errr, well it would have been far simpler to simply write politely whence this CD came from and said thanks but no thanks it isn’t really for us but then in doing so I would have no doubt had to explain why “stochastic music for percussion and synthesizers” is a bit wide of the mark even for those of us who are far from strictly a metal site and who like to push the boundaries. I may as well just sit down and witter on about it and get the job done. It as does occasionally happen fall to me as editor to unravel things of a more disingenuous nature and I certainly didn’t expect other writers to grab this with open arms. Press wise this is presented rather pretentiously and musically it is too, we are warned that “Listeners couldn’t find any failure into [the artists] music, or maybe, everything sounds like a failure” so it’s not as though we were not forewarned.
What we have here from Italian musicians Giovanni Todisco (percussion) and Giuseppe Candiano (synthesizers) is what is essentially contemporary classical music. I am rather glad that the two tracks here are segments (let’s forget the description on the album title) or they could sprawl for hours upon end over multi disc compositions. They probably do in some form or the other. Simply entitled Segment 1 And 2 and divided into 2 tracks just over the 20-minute mark one first waits for something to happen before realising it actually is via a faint hum and some tinkling xylophone motifs and turn the volume up. Minimalistic, drowsy and soporific a piano is eased in and finally a bit of drama via the slow pounding bombast of timpani drum. Other drums are utilised and the mood and atmosphere is certainly unsettling, slumber has either been forgotten or turned to the brink of nightmare. Strange sounds are made around the half-way mark of the 1st segment and curiosity peaks, at least more is happening via various sonic manipulations and gong like structures being hit and now a horror soundtrack is encroaching on the mood and a dissonance begins to attack the nerves. Now we are getting somewhere and as mood music this is certainly having an effect. The tempo and instrumentation is brought to a near jarring level as bass drum thuds and low feedback buzzes making me wonder if it is there by design or mistake; I suspect the former. Quaking and shaking it reaches its mass before quietly ebbing out leaving you without a huge clue of what it was all about in the first place other than a form of experimental musical artform.
The second segment is more of the same with xylophone again tinkling away but an extra element of faint feminine chanting is introduced, toning the scales like some sort of GSCE music project is taking place. After a few minutes I am definitely getting bored but thankfully a loud couple of timpani rolls give some hope that things will go somewhere even if they are taking their damn sweet time about it. Patience is being worn thin and even the thunder of the percussion brooding over things is now nagging at me. Are the composers of this making it up on the fly, is it carefully constructed, is it relevant to anything are questions going round in my head and to be honest I’m not even sure I care about any answers. One thing has been answered, is it pretentious, hell yes! Is it worth you spending 40 minutes of your time with, well I guess that depends on your tastes but this is definitely designed for the more abstract listener out there. All art is subjective I guess and the moments of drama in the close of each piece especially the earth-shattering one here are worth sticking around for but they just take so long to get to it’s a bit of a painful endeavour. I wonder what Stockhausen would have thought?
(5/10 Pete Woods)