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CD Feature/ Sostrah Tinnitus: "Libellvs Alchemicvs Aegypticvs"

img  Tobias

In an interview, Mario Costa of Sostrah Tinnitus once called Dark Ambient an “exhausted mine”. Much more than a simple act of defiance, this can be seen as a mission statement: To keep taking his music to fertile grounds and to relocate before the luscious meadows have been grazed completely. So even though the connection to the genre may still be there in aesthetic terms, his entire output points in a completely different direction.

No recordings for typical outfits, such as Foreshadow Productions or Cyclic Law, therefore, but carefully selected releases with smaller labels or the renowned Belgian Drone connoisseurs “Mystery Sea” – if there were a prize for understatement with regards to his career, this man would be a hot contender. Music-wise, however, his offerings have become increasingly extraordinary of lately, with “Libellvs Alchemicvs Aegypticvs” stealing the crown for the moment. Everything comes together on his seventh CD-R: His love for art house cinema (references to Tarkowsky and Herzog), barren orchestrations, minimal but highly effective doses of noise and intelligently arranged and complexely structured compositions with many overlapping and interleaved passages. More than ever, Sostrah Tinnitus is about the contrasts between the nocturnal and the brightly illuminated, the earthly and the ethereal, the sinister and the stuningly beautiful, the epic and the concise: Two medium-length pieces are the anchors for the small fishing ships of shorter tracks – some of which are haunted soundscapes with faintly howling winds and bubbling moors, others miniatures of subsonic poundings next to kitchen noises. As intense as they may be, the real action takes place in the fourteen minute “Nel Teattro il Drago danzava a mezzanotte!” and the slightly more brief title track. In the former, majestic synthesizer lines melt into opaque clouds of painful murmurs and glowing vibratos, before culminating in a heavenly drone passage and the latter is a spacey cavern of a reverbed wind melody against spectral harmonies.

With this dense and diverse album, the Italian project proves itself to be one of the leftfield actors of the experimental scene, unbound to any genre and open to many influences. His talent, however, lies not in incorporating as many styles as possible, but in welding them together into unprecedented compositions and obscuring the seams afterwards: Everything falls into place in this barely half an hour long aural trip. With “Libellvs Alchemicvs Aegypticvs”, Mario Costa demonstrates that there is still an amazing potential to be found outside of those dried-up mines.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Sostrah Tinnitus
Homepage: Opaco Records

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