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CD Feature/ Enrico Coniglio: "dyanMU"

img  Tobias
The journey begins with a thought and a questionmark: “Play it soft?”, Enrico Coniglio asks in the digipack, while Franco Marzorati claims in the preface to the album that “Ambient music swallows not only the world with its noise but also silence with its thoughts. Perhaps it realizes the extreme desire: deadalive”.The music hasn’t even started yet and one already feels that this is by no means an ordinary release.

Of course, Enrico Coniglio has made a name for himself in that respect. His previous effort, “Areavirus”, was a work which bulged out in every direction imagineable, a record which effortlessly moved from crisp electronica to richly tectured soundscapes and from solo pieces to band-like constellations. Coniglio is the kind of musician who’s not eclectic for the sake of it, but simply because his field of interest is so wide. Indecisiveness, one could say, is a virtue here.

This is also why his fifth album, a collaboration with Swiss-born pianist Elisa Marzorati, has such a completely natural ring to it. “Freely inspired by the piano Preludes of Claude Debussy”, it says, but the smell of pretentiousness which easily pervades such lines is softened by the fact that this is truly the meeting of two musicians who enjoy reaching out beyond their own nose and who have finetuned the details of their vision over the course of more than a full year – “dyanMU” is not only the album title, but the name of their joint project as well, a “meeting between two artists coming from very different traditions.

Almost by default, these 42 minutes will therefore fail to satisfy both the demand for sonic purity of die-hard classical fans and the desire for seamless smoothness often voiced by Ambient listeners. Marzorati neither strives for an organic sound in her playing (lots of pedal) nor in her choice of instrument (most likely an ePiano), her elegant melodies on rhythmic opener “brushwork” are rather influenced by electronica than by the Vienese school, her disqueting clusters on “skip to eXit” and her harmonic language on “walking distance” by midnight Jazz and nervous breakdowns. Coniglio’s atmospheres, meanwhile, take turns at being ethereal and lightflooded, obscured by clouds, ominous and abstract.

Despite its many tonal, timbral and stylistic variations, “dynMU” does settle into a groove, albeit an unusual one. Dense moods are continously juxtaposed with solo piano pieces, leaving a lot of free creative space to the listener, while sucking him in through the backdoor. Only the final three tracks deviate from this path, when Coniglio builds crackling and clattering beats from tiny bits of binary code and immerses himself in field-recordings to come up with a modern-day version of Debussy’s impressionism on “loss (part I & II)”.

Even in its more disturbing passages, the album remains contained, never fully releasing the tension and merely easing it slightly when Marzorati is allowed to gently stroke the keys. This may be, why dyanMU” is a work which demands to be appreciated through repeated listening, but which is not too heavy or burdensome to be consumed several times in a row. Quite obviously, however, it risks disappearing into your subconscious without the necessary dynamic thrust: We strongly recommend playing this loud!

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Enrico Coniglio
Homepage: Elisa Marzorati
Homepage: Psychonavigation Records

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