Francesco Clemente / Heinrich Dressel :: Il Faro (MinimalRome)

This is a complex, involving and totally absorbing selection of electronics. Sit back, get the headphones on and enjoy.

Some ten years back, when Crème Organization was knee high to a grasshopper, Suoni Dalle Ombre Oltre by Francesco Clemente was released. The EP was described as an unearthed soundtrack, but today it would fall under the heading of “soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist. Clemente disappeared, or the alias did. In fact Francesco Clemente is Montreal’s David Kristian, an artist who has had a curious, if not quiet, career. Kristian was productive for some fifteen years, releasing a spread of EPs and albums. But for the last ten years that flow has slowed to a bare trickle.

Heinrich Dressel has quite a different history. The MinimalRome man has been developing his unique sound since his first appearance on Strange Life Records in 2007. The Italian’s output has been steadily growing, like the electronic community’s appreciation of his music.

The two come together for a special split CD release, Il Faro.

The Montreal artist shares five pieces of absorbing electronics. Ambient with a soundtrack slant. Harmonies haunt. From the outset the mood is heady, synthesizer smokescreens with “A Little Glitter” leading into the denser fog of “Flight Thru The Resonant.” Dreamscapes are constructed with intense bars, vintage equipment used to build lucid and vibrant works in the tradition of Vangelis or Tangerine dream. The listener is isolated, removed and transplanted into a lost landscape. “VSS Enterprising” bulges with tear-filled chords before hope returns for sea breeze of“N38.”

Heinrich Dressel takes over with “Mist.” Synthesizer shapes and swirls cloud headphones. Thick banks of harmony are interwoven by delicate keys and late night tranquility. The divide between movie score and ambience is blurred, “Signals From The North” prowls with malicious intent while “Nightfall at Dark” stalks the listener in ever tightening loops. But not is all shadows, there are some incandescent pieces across the album. “Wind Sighs Down The Reef” is ephemeral, a dawning of cold light blushing into a radiant warmth before the machines take old for the unsettling loops of “RadioFaro.”

With Heinrich Dressel’s well proven track record and Francesco Clemente coming out of musical hibernation Il Faro was always going to be interesting. But interesting doesn’t do the album justice. This is a complex, involving and totally absorbing selection of electronics. Sit back, get the headphones on and enjoy.

Il Faro is available on MinimalRome.

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