Angelo Petronella - "Parte 1" (Rimandi E Scoperte)
“Parte 2” of Angelo Petonella’s Rimandi E Scoperte begins in mystery. One can hear a percussive sound in the background, and a series of breathy or windy expulsions up front, but their origins are concealed behind effects and/or processing. This sort of transformation and uncertainty isn’t rare in electro-acoustic composition, but that Petronella often makes use of field recordings heightens the mystery of what’s being heard and where it’s coming from. Hints are heard, but answers are few, and the disc’s trio of carefully plotted compositions is rife with the slight dissonances that occur within what appear from a distance to be sonorous similarities. Rimandi E Scoperte‘s cover art and liner notes suggest an architectural order, a level of cleanliness and exactitude. And while the disc offers no reason to doubt Petronella’s surgical skill in soundcraft, the album isn’t so sterile as these auxiliaries might suggest.
His drones are like musical petri dishes, teeming with activity when considered at close range. Their high pitched whines are found to be rife with the rough edges of small-scale collisions, frictions, and abrasions, cast in granular detail that can be so fine that each decibel added in search of additional clarity of sound poses a sharply-hewn threat to the inner ear. Petronella’s sounds can be almost heavenly; “Parte 1” especially exhibits an ethereal quality that only becomes dangerous as one gets closer. A delicate drone gains gristle as its volume goes up, and pushed far enough, the track becomes a symphony of knife edges, some dull, some sharp, but all capable of their own particular brand of damage. Like so many of the brightly colored flora and fauna of this earth, Rimandi E Scoperte‘s most beautiful characteristics are also those with the most potential do to harm.
Petronella doesn’t bother too broadly with clang and clatter on Rimandi E Scoperte, with these more tactile sounds often serving as transitions into or out of one of the album’s omnipresent drones. “Parte 3” omits with the helpers altogether, a 15-minute drone without relent. This doesn’t mean it’s monotonous; Petronella coaxes the minimalism through metamorphoses that can be deceptively smooth to the ears. One hears the changes, but a haphazard sampling of the sounds in the quarter-hour piece show far more diversity than one experiences in listening to the track play out in real time.
Here is an artist who can mold and massage his creations to great effect, a sculptor of sound in a very palpable sense. Petronella’s methods aren’t revolutionary, but it’s hard to argue with the effects. Chalk Rimandi E Scoperte up as another success for a label that sometimes seems nigh incapable of a serious misstep.