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CD Feature/ Misound: "Stanze Di Te"

img  Tobias

A flowering of sound on this, the third effort from the promising Slow Flow records. A still, calm, yet ripe reverie and repetition animated the young labels first pair of full-lengths; but Marco Iavarone, 'til now content to putter away in the unknown, takes similar cadences and solid circular structures and allows a richer range of sounds to flow over them, not unlike the first rumblings of a river after the thaw.

"Sonno", the opening track, takes some clean, clear synth tones and lines them with processed ambient chords, which rise in intensity alongside wordless male vocals to produce a strong emotional and aesthetic response in the listener. Hereafter Iavarone tinkers over the tracks, exploring various possibilities, approaches to be tested and finally discarded or retained according to their effectiveness. The skeletons of most tracks are generally neat and beautifully effective: the title track is a classical-inspired composition; the piano refrain, skillfully overlapped with percussive hiccups and digital crinkles, is sensual and tactile. There's also a gorgeous transparency to the graphic scores on works such as "Creta" and "So Easy". Stripped back to its basic parts, the vulnerable threads on "Giorni Vuoti" together make for an elegant backdrop, over which the plummy pronunciation of the instrumental lines stand out beautifully.

As the record develops, Iavarone manages a strategic payoff between the textural clarity of the aforementioned works with the gestural surprises of a small number of other pieces. The soundscaping harmonies of several other works, for one, is decidedly and unexpectedly vague, which keeps the work from becoming overly settled or uniform. "Se Non Lo Sai", in particular, has processed piano chords spiral around each other like an echoing cathedral. Perhaps most importantly, though, Iavarone knows how to pace his material over the long duration in order to retain an atmosphere of fresh and suspenseful ritual throughout.

By Max Schaefer

Homepage: Misound
Homepage: Slow Flow Records

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