PRO00270

Alio Die: Deconsecrated and Pure (CD)

$14.00

SKU: PRO00270. Category: , , , , .

Tracks

1 Layers of Faith | MP3 Clip
2 Obliterated Alcove | MP3 Clip
3 Peel Away This Mortal Coil
4 Cerulean Facade | MP3 Clip
5 De-altared | MP3 Clip

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Deconsecrated and Pure is an evocative liturgy from the realm where electronic music meets acoustic drones, found objects, sacral voices and field recordings.

Italian ambient-acoustic sonic sculptor Stefano Musso returns for his first solo Alio Die release on Projekt in 20 years. Don’t get the idea he’s been on vacation, however! Since 1992 he has released 37 collaborative CDs and 19 solo CDs; this makes Deconsecrated and Pure Alio Die’s 20th solo release! Welcome back!

The processed traditional instruments and natural textures float alongside rich electro-organic drones, creating a perfect introspective soundtrack with a medieval and sacral atmosphere. Serene and meditative textures combine in a chorus of circular and interwoven sounds, reflecting the harmony of the cosmos as an opus of inner stillness.

Processed and layered into the mix are vocal pieces by Claudio Merulo. The work of this 16th century Venetian Renaissance composer was performed by Paolo Tognon and Quoniam Ensemble di Dulciane and De Labyrintho Ensemble Della Rinascenza, creating the essence of a historical religious feel. The gradual evolution of the arrangements create a strong impression that the listener has been carried across time and space. Elements such as sonically-tampered Middle East horns (The dulciana, a sort of early basoon/oboe), solemn atmospheres of the courts of the Italian Renaissance, and evocative soundscapes cosmic and ethereal combine for holiness and trascendence.

To create this work, Stefano selected fragments of sessions recorded with the acoustic instruments, modifying them through multi-layered loops. Pitch and frequencies changed, effects were added, other sound objects were played and processed into the mix. This was further augmented with the electronics and field recordings adding more layers metamorphosizing the whole atmosphere into a deep trance mood. What makes Alio Die’s compositions glow is the attention to detail and fluidity; something from the background floats to the foreground as it is slowly modified, or perhaps it’s the gentle addition of a bagpipe or stringed instruments. It all intertwines through constant modulation, addition of atmospheric sounds, and re-contextualization.

Marvelously floating and hauntingly expressive, Deconsecrated and Pure feels like a liturgical poem within an archaic mausoleum distorted by time.

BIO:

Alio Die is the name of Stefano Musso’s shimmering, expansive dronescaping project. Musso’s work began in electro-acoustic research and he started to work under the name Alio Die in 1989. He is also known for his fruitful collaboration with artists such as Robert Rich, Vidna Obmana, Mathias Grassow and others. His personal musical signature is a hybrid between sonic sonorous soundscapes and acoustic mysticism. A poignant and ecstatic journey of sounds.

  • Second solo album on Projekt in 20 years
  • Four previous collaborative releases on Projekt
  • 56th release from Alio Die!
  • Weight .3 lbs
    Label

    Projekt

    Release Year

    2012

    Format

    CD in 6-panel digpak

    Reviews

    1. Reviews Editor

      Review  –:

      From Hypnagogue

      Lush with sacred music overtones and lightly wound with shadow, Alio Die’s new release, Deconsecrated and Pure, establishes a sense of meditative reverence from its first notes to create an extremely intimate ambient space. A hymnal quality takes over from the start in “Layers of Faith.” Woodwind sounds take the lead here as Alio Die (aka Stefano Musso) builds his way toward a wonderful sonic density. Light touches of field recordings help Musso carve out a sacred grove for the listener, a very personal cloister for hushed reflection. The second track, “Obliterated Alcove,” gets a lift from vocal samples. Musso takes recordings of work by 16th century Venetian Renaissance composer Claudio Merulo, performed by Paolo Tognon and the Quoniam Ensemble di Dulciane and De Labyrintho Ensemble Della Rinascenza, and layers them over his droning loops. His arrangement, apparently giving each voice in this choir its own personal phrase, makes each feel like a piece of a quite larger whole, the segments falling apart and coming together in a rich, fragmented prayer. Near the six-minute mark, Musso pulls back the drones and lets the voices take the forefront. This is where the disc elevates to its strongest sense of the sacred, riding on that largely unprocessed presence. Again, as the field recording of a stream (or rain? hard to say) is subtly dovetailed into the mix, the atmosphere of the piece is again heightened. With “Peel Away This Mortal Coil,” Musso introduces a clattering bit of dissonance into the mix, playing with the contrast of metallic collisions, twists of key-searching woodwinds and his base drones. It’s a busy track, but the chaos is obviously controlled. Nothing overwhelms; there’s a tenuous chemistry happening between elements, and the dissonance just skirts the edge of feeling too random. What makes this work even more is that it flows into the softer space of “Cerulean Flow.” This is my favorite stretch of the disc, ten minutes spent wrapped in concentric coils of sound. There is a warmth to the voice here that may be amplified just a bit from its coming on the heels of “…Mortal Coil.”–but it’s a very personal warmth, regardless. Musso closes the disc with “De-Altared,” again giving over to threads that initially compete and jar one another. The woodwinds honk rather than sing; wayward field sounds poke out of the sound; the mass feels like it’s trying to find its identity–but again, within the tangle a calming sense of near-order surfaces. There are so many intricate layers at work, it’s a pleasure to get lost in the interplay. This is the longest track on the disc, and Musso carefully plays with the balance of sound and emotion, wildness and reserve.

      Clearly, Deconsecrated and Pure is a deeply engaging piece of work. Musso’s use of processed acoustic instruments–notably the dulciana, a type of oboe–embeds an organic depth in the flow. While they retain an ambient texture, there’s a notable solidity to their tones that rises up in spots. The field recordings and even gentle tapping on metal, very earthy, present sounds, are gingerly placed as concrete elements in the otherwise empyrean atmospheres Musso creates. This is the product of a master at work. Listen to it many times over; there’s a lot to hear, all worth the effort of listening closely.

    2. Reviews Editor

      Review  –:

      From Sounds Behind the Corner

      Entrare nei grandi santuari della religiosità cristiana (è però estendibile a templi di altri culti) vuol dire assimilarne l’energia, attraversarne il velo invisibile che è sulla linea che demarca la porta d’ingresso con l’ambiente esterno ed il tempio, un confine forse custodito dagli angeli, dalle anime, da tutta l’energia che nei secoli si è accumulata tra devozioni, credi, preghiere. Oltrepassare quel confine è una scelta, quella di varcare una porta spazio/tempo rivestita d’aura, iridescente, non sempre invisibile se osservate la soglia sulla linea di demarcazione tra il mondo, laico, e la spiritualità.

      Le cinque tracce di Deconsacrated And Pure hanno il valore dell’omaggio inviolabile di Alio Die alle strutture della religiosità antica, gotica e romanica, medievale e monacale: lui eremita del suono che dedica ad anacoreti dello spirito musica per angeli di carne, Stefano Musso asceta del laptop in tanti progetti, collaborazioni, installazioni, ha venerato il trascendente con la musica. Seconda volta, solitario, in Projekt: Sam Rosenthal non nega che il lato ‘ambient’ della label è per lui motivo di fiducia e circondarsi dei migliori musicisti del relax meditativo, dello spiritual/soundscape, è fonte d’orgoglio da affiancare al canonico goth-system, floride espressioni nella label americana.

      Era il 1993 quando in Projekt usciva la ristampa dell’album “Under An Holy Ritual”: a distanza di quasi vent’anni, e di tante produzioni insieme condotte, l’atmosfera di beatitudine e della ricerca, ancora una volta scorre sui binari dei lunghi loop distensivi, dei soffici droni mascherati, attutiti, monastici dell’opener Layers Of Faith”, estesi e smorzati, volutamente smorzati in “Obliterated Alcove”, una prima parte introduttiva al successivo coro quasi monacale, liturgico, un vespro introverso tra cristianità antica e new-age futuribile, un ponte che trova sponde in cui ancorarsi nell’anima e nel corpo.

      La scultura sonora di Stefano Musso celebra la ricerca nei tintinni acuti per neo-tribalismi mistici che riprendono lavori concettualizzati insieme ad Antonio Testa: è lo spirito di “Peel Away This Mortal Coil” o dell’ascensione gotica, luminosa, di “Cerulean Facade”, un inno al sole che filtra tra bifore impolverate, ora lo sguardo penitente si alza per guardare la luce che entra tra i muri, illumina volti timorosi e penitenti. Il finale, “De-altered”, nei venti minuti in cui svolge la sua trama è liquida nelle piccole percezioni di un suono ancora una volta attutito, rinchiuso nei suoi loop ermetici, la stessa percezione di umido relax che si prova nei silenzi dei bagni turchi, in poche parole è acqua che purifica lo spirito attraverso il corpo.

      La musica ha questo valore ed Alio Die ha la virtù d’infondere la possibilità di penetrare la materia assimilando le sue suite a livello cellulare nel vero sincretismo spirituale, ricordiamolo insieme ai Jack Or Jive sempre in Projekt, oppure unito a tanti musicisti di ogni parte del Mondo, coalizzati nella volontà di esprimere senza parole il suono della psiche. -Nicola Tenani

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