Modus :: Quattro & Piano Chain / The Garden Of Sinus (Wo-Land/Marmo)

In parts its bumpy, even jarring, at other moments it’s as smooth as silk. One thing you can be sure of, it’s always different and always original.

Modus :: Quattro & Piano Chain / The Garden Of Sinus (Wo-Land/Marmo)

I don’t enjoy flying. I never have. It’s irrational. It’s silly. It’s juvenile. But there it is. I try to take my mind off my location, some 36,000 feet above the earth, by reviewing. This can be a good idea as well as a bad one, it depends on the artist. The latest pair of offers from Modus definitely took my mind off things, but I’m not sure if they put me at ease.

This Italian artist is challenging. I first came across him last year when covering Marmo Music. We were lucky enough to get hold of a live set from this upstart. Boundaries are not recognized, limits are ignored and the spirit of experimentation is plain to hear. Not the lullaby like rhythms that a spooked flyer needs.

His latest album, on Wo-Land, is a side swipe of styles. Electronics. Acoustics. Techno House. Jazz. Ambient. Industrial. All are called for. As is a decent dash of determination. Tracks such as “Donsky Beat” stagger and stumble, “Dodge Man” chiming in on the drunken dance. But change and transition are afoot. “Absolutely Mallet” is a delicate and fragile almost tinker toy track while “In Major” pushes that playful aspect to a lilting frenzy. “Gli Zufoli” is a sea-sawing synth ride, not one for the faint of heart flight passenger. But this isn’t just out there experimentation. Amongst the clatter and clang lie pockets of heartfelt emotion. “Weep” harks back to a time of samples and bold bass, 90s indie echoes with a modern twist. The title piece, Quattro, comes from an entirely different place, electronica with post-industrial sentiments battering one another in a raucous tug of war.

Turbulence? Nope, just the towing and froing from my headphones.

The most recent release from this anything goes artist is a 10”. That same spinning of sound found on Quattro is in full swing. Clipped percussion and trilling chords introduce the carnival. A swirl of sounds are brought together. “Piano Chain” is a blustery piece of upside down, distortion soaked, house. Thick, board, bold, sweaty and club ready. Piano scales are tweaked before being torn, those same scales being crunch for “The Garden of Sinus,” quite a different kettle of fish. Slow and grizzly the track bends then bulges before buckling under its own weight.

So where ya we landed? With Modus you’re never sure, and that’s something that can’t always be said with modern electronics. But then again, this musician isn’t just electronic with a glut of accents and influences being part of his sound. With this Italian artist you’re on a journey. In parts its bumpy, even jarring, at other moments it’s as smooth as silk. One thing you can be sure of, it’s always different and always original.

Quattro & Piano Chain / The Garden Of Sinus is available on Wo-Land/Marmo.

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