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Carlos Giffoni - Arrogance

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Artist: Carlos Giffoni

Album: Arrogance

Label: No Fun

Review date: Feb. 19, 2007

Giffoni’s claim that this disc was inspired by arrogance is a peculiar one, I don’t have much of an idea what an arrogant piece of instrumental music is supposed to sound like, but it doesn’t seem to be here amongst these five tracks. The analogue box work here may well be dark and purposeful, but it isn’t attempting to shit on anybody else through its majesty or progressive nature; he’s wading through a well-traveled sub-genre. This switch back to a full hands-on modulation after the digital intricacy of 2005’s Welcome Home isn’t a surprising move though for someone as motivated as Giffoni.

Seeing as this is a No Fun production and a Giffoni release, you’d expect an accompaniment of some messy, incredible Maya Miller artwork; sadly not with Arrogance. Megan Ellis’ spindly Burtonesque trees are much less simple (and potentially nightmarish) than a typical Miller cover, and this is perhaps an intentional reflection of the more straightforward style of music on offer here.

This is a much easier album on the brain and ears than his tightened and jam-packed debut. Arrogance’s heavier and lengthier structures are more easily digested with this collection’s slower pace. His waves of energy form rhythm and melody in elongated gritty splurges of sound, unhurried movements of layering providing dynamics to these shifting oil glaciers.

There isn't a huge range of sounds being used here, and taken as a background listen, it could be mistaken for an extended single workout. Several radical shifts in tone do appear, moments like the sonar climax on “No More Air" or the Wurlitzer break on “A Proper End," but they’re rare. It's more like their eccentric time-outs among the colossal stretches of single elongated lines. There’s just too much simple up-and-down on “I Always Lie” and “The Snake Rises” to really make them stand out. There’s nothing here to be arrogant about.

By Scott McKeating

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