It’s pitch black, and you cannot open your eyes. Your body is propelled through thick liquid at a constant, rapid speed. You know that you have a function and purpose, but you aren’t sure what it is. You are a blood cell, one of trillions within a vast bodily cage, and you have just experienced your first moment of self-awareness. You are surrounded by life, but you can’t escape the heavy feeling that you are terribly alone. Listen to the sounds of the organs . . .
I recommend that you close your eyes while listening to this one. Risveglio is the newest full-length by modular synth virtuoso and longtime Nine Inch Nails member Alessandro Cortini. A grand total of two instruments were utilized during the recording of this release: the Roland MC-202 (a monophonic synth/sequencer), and the Roland TB-303 (a bass synth/sequencer). The two iconic elements wonderfully entrance on this album.
These tracks are more akin to aural landscapes than traditional songs. The fact that only two sonic components inhabit these worlds is a true testament to Cortini’s indisputable talent and boundless imagination, because it’s captivating throughout the entire journey. Each song possesses a unique duality; one moment the tones are dragging you into the abyss, and the next they’re lifting you skyward. “Epic” is an understatement.
Much of this record invokes an eerie sense of claustrophobia, but don’t let that deter you from fully submitting to the experience. The most ideal way to meet this album is to sit or recline in a dark room with no distractions; each track conjures its own imagery, but this one begs to be listened to in one sitting. Good luck, ambitious explorer of sounds! If you’re seeking expansive modular synth adventures, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)