Dusted Reviews

Alessandro Bosetti - Exposé

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Alessandro Bosetti

Album: Exposé

Label: Die Schachtel

Review date: Jun. 20, 2007

Though he’s known to many as a saxophinst, Alessandro Bosetti’s musical interests lie far beyond a one-instrument approach, and perusal of the Italian’s catalogue reveals Bosetti’s recent oeuvre moving in a distinctly different trajectory. Conceptual work, focusing on human speech and its relationship with music, has of late been a primary focus for Bosetti. His discography, in years past heavy with collaborative improv performances and solo recordings, has been relatively spartan since 2004, though 2007 has marked a resurgence of sorts for the globe-trotting Bosetti, who’s spent the past few years traveling and recording, collecting the sounds, sights and ideas that have been the inspiration for and ingredients of his most recent work.

African Feedback, an upcoming book/CD release on the Errant Bodies imprint, collects the efforts of Bosetti during recent trips to West Africa, on which he played experimental music through headphones to a diverse cast of people he met on his travels, recording their reactions and responses. Her Name, recently issued by Crouton, finds Bosetti modifying and rearranging the vocal snippets that serve as his personal souvenirs of travel to create wholly new songforms from the spoken samples. Bosetti’s newest release, Exposé, doesn’t explore cross-cultural dialogue, though the disc, perhaps the artist’s most conceptual work to date, certainly contains a curious appeal. The disc explores the spoken word in less contextual sense, examining the musicality of repetition and the interplay between words and sounds.

The content of Audrey Chen’s spoken phrases, while interesting in its own right, seems merely a vehicle for Exposé’s greater goal. Her sentences are instructions for the execution of conceptual art pieces of Bosetti’s own design, short and simple directions repeated by Chen with impressive consistency of tone and melody. As each track progresses, the listener’s consideration of Bosetti’s vocal blueprints drifts further and further from their literal meaning, words as sounds, sentences as patterns. Bosetti augments Chen’s voice with instrumental accompaniments, painstakingly arranged in order to best follow and react to Chen’s words. The sound of electric keys mimics Chen’s delivery in both rhythm and pitch while plucked strings, sustained drones from the keys, and various other musical fragments pepper the remainder of the musical canvas, sometimes in reaction to the words, others as an atmospheric backdrop. Bosetti’s ornamentations are at their most effective when they seem especially sparse and conscientiously placed, and when the tracks sometimes become more cluttered, such as with the introduction of sound in reverse and pre-recorded vocal spurts in “Exposé #10,” the more ambient of the inclusions are the more successful, with the jarring bursts of radio static and truncated voice intruding on the piece at the jeopardy of the track’s (by now) long-sustained tenor. Still, on the majority of Exposé, Bosetti remains patient, purposeful, and, perhaps most importantly, subtle in his additions to Chen’s words, finding a success in quality rather than quantity.

Exposé certainly isn’t a work without a certain amount of conceptual pretense and, as such, can be a difficult disc to engage. Bosetti is as demanding of the listener as he is of himself, but a dedication to the experience and a willingness to be aware of one’s own listening can make Exposé a rewarding, unique and surprisingly responsive encounter.

By Adam Strohm

Read More

View all articles by Adam Strohm

Find out more about Die Schachtel

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.