V/A :: Urbi et Orbi Vol III (Minimal Rome)

There’s a wonderful variety across the album, of established artists and new names, of musical styles and ideas. Turn a corner and you’re listening to Electro, next it’s mutating Acid, next its Industrial Ambience, next House. There is an unbelievable spread of sounds across Urbi Et Orbi III, but without the album becoming cluttered or cramped.

'Urbi et Orbi Vol III'

Urbi et Orbi Vol III - Various Artists “Urbi Et Orbi.” Roughly translated it means “To the City of Rome and to the World.” This phrase has been proclaimed twice annually by successive Popes for years to Catholic masses. Minimal Rome has adopted the hallowed expression, Urbi Et Orbi being MR’s flagship compilation series. The first two releases mapped the burgeoning Minimal Rome sound, etching out a niche of tough Electro, tweaked House and experimental abstractions. It’s been almost three years since the last installment, so time for the third in the series. The vinyl has been left behind for this outing, spanning two crammed CD’s.

Mixmaster extraordinaire Mick Wills drops his headphones for the synthesizer to open the album. “Espace” is a weaving piece of Electro, a powerful start. Teslasonic follows with a terse and removed piece. Elec Pt 1 lands in attack mode. Coarse 303 lines infect all before a low lying melody surfaces—harsh and slick. Sounds swing as the album develops, Takeshi Kouzoki ushering in some House before Datasette slows the action with some sublime electronics. Stand-alone gems are peppered across the compilation. Andrea Benedetti takes a squalid House structure with some Evangelist samples, a recipe for an absolute belter. There’s an acid undercurrent corroding much of the album, Fantamos emitting noxious 303 fumes for “PCR 300.” There’s a rich spread of newcomers across the two discs. Lo-Lo, for one, serves up Roland Sebastian Fabre synthscapes, Black September bringing deep layered electronics. Firm Minimal Rome favourites are present, such as the hypnotising soundtrack stylings of Heinrich Dressel. One of the stand out pieces from the compilation is by Day Before Us. “Songe d’Airain” is a wisp of a track, two minutes in total. But packed into this snippet is a haunting, deep piano work that writhes and twists in the speakers. Amazing track. Across the album are some wonderful ambient and experimental pieces. The Exaltics offer the spaced out Electro neurosis of “Between Places” before Ian Martin sends his message of synthesizer isolation and detachment into the stratosphere. The first time artists on the album stand shoulder to shoulder with the heavy hitters, Alessandro Parisi doling out a phenomenal piece of sinister soundtrack Electro before Grackle lightens the mood. The 2XCD odyssey finally docks with the analogue claustrophobia of Stellar Om Source.

There’s a wonderful variety across the album, of established artists and new names, of musical styles and ideas. Turn a corner and you’re listening to Electro, next it’s mutating Acid, next its Industrial Ambience, next House. There is an unbelievable spread of sounds across Urbi Et Orbi III, but without the album becoming cluttered or cramped. A truly epic undertaking and a real achievement from Minimal Rome. Next time on a five vinyl set please.

Urbi Et Orbi III is available on Minimal Rome. Buy at CloneiTunes or Amazon.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.