Often, when you see a prolific artist in the progressive electronic subgenre you are going to find a number of long drones with very few differences so that one album is hardly distinguishable from another.
This is not the case with Stefano Musso, aka Alio Die (latin: "Another Day"). His music fits very well in its genre, with long compositions made mainly of keyboard soundscapes very ambient oriented, but it's not just a guy which plays at home with synths and sequencers. This is an artist which puts some effort in each composition and even though his work is pure ambient electronic his music reminds not only to the Tangerine Dream of the pink period as one may expect, but also to Vangelis, Oldfield and likes in their most peaceful and dreamy sides. I have discovered this artist on Prog Archives, from a review that made me curious and this is the first Alio Die's album that I try. It's not a surprise because this is progressive electronic, exactly what is written on his PA page. The surprise is the quality of this work. The album should be part of a series called "Castles Sonorisations" which is intended as a musical description of medieval castles, and the medieval ambient is expressed by the "ooh" voices which suggest the idea of monks in a monastery.
The first three tracks are part of a suite entitled "Sine Tempore" (Timeless) and the remaining two are "Aura Seminalis" (latin: "Seminal Radiance", but Aura has a lot of meanings, including "Breath"). Listening better I'm not 100% sure that the voices are not human. No singers are credited on the album but they may come from sampling. This kind of sound sends my mind to Vangelis ("Mayflower" from The Friends of Mr. Cairo to say a title).
An advise: there is no kind of drums or percussion in this album, no guitars or bass. This is a totally electronic experience and one of the best that I have hear on this genre recently. I am between three and four stars, honestly, as I really like this album, but I don't know if I can consider it "essential". It's surely better than most of the TD 80s output that I'm in the process of reviewing during this period. Anyway, I'm going for 4 stars as "eyecatcher" as this artist deserves, in my opinion, a bit of attention from us proggers. Rating: 4 out of 5