Lorenzo Montanà : phase IX (CD)


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Product Description

01 Land’s End
02 Glopsyche Eclipse
03 Dhalg Fu
04 Mirror of Consciousness
05 Fall’s Odyssey
06 Ura Senxet
07 Opal Cave
08 Naadmir
09 Strings of Patience

Phase IX is Italian soundcomposer Lorenzo Montanà’s first American release. These electronic, ambient mindscapes form nine phases of a trip of the psyche. Lorenzo focuses on the floating/experimental side of his work as heard on his collaboration with Alio Die, Holographic Codex (Projekt, 2015); it’s a downtempo evolution on his fifteen previous albums, including work on the famed German Fax label where he published his first CD (Black Ivy, 2009) and the 5-CD Labyrinth collaboration series with Pete Namlook.

Lorenzo’s sonorities are created by a network of electronica, field recordings, hang drum, cello and piano. A 62-minute surrealistic journey of sound, Phase IX is not so much the product of physical actions as the translations of internal thought currents into autonomous sonic spheres that detail the surroundings with an organic link to nature and its purest interiors. Cold northern forests, fog and ancient ruins, mysterious environments among ornate atmospheres, religious mysticism and minimalism, these nine tracks are the soundtrack for a film that doesn’t yet exist. From within the mist appear two tracks taking a more solid form (“Mirror of Consciousness” in the middle of the release and “Naadmir” one track from the end) with stepped sequencer and 70’s spacerock textures forming crescendos with the album’s constant flow of deep and dark waters.

Phase IX is a solitary walk through forgotten paths, an ambient symphony where acoustic and electronic elements weld alchemical joints obtained through complex design. Indulging in a deep haze, darkness and perfumes between sacred and profane, this is dream-infused music traveling the synapses of the mind firing sonic beauty along the way.


Lorenzo Montanà is an Italian soundtrack composer, sound engineer and producer. He started in the nineties producing & arranging more than 40 albums with several artists across the electronic, ambient, IDM, jazz, classical and rock genres. His meticulous production style finds a complex balance between melody and intricate beats. In fact, his work with the singer Tying Tiffany as T.T.L. (Through The Lens) landed their song “Deep Shadow” in The Hunger Games movie trailer. There is a cinematic aspect to Lorenzo’s works where the cinema, of course, is often in your mind.

Release Date: Marcy 17 2017

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Weight .3 lbs



Release Year


  1. Reviews Editor

    From Ambient Blog

    Italian composer Lorenzo Montanà‘s work dates back to 2009. Besides releasing his solo-albums, he has collaborated with artists like Pete Namlook and Alio Die. Apart from creating and releasing his own music, he is also a soundtrack composer (perhaps you know the song Deep Shadow from the Hunger Games movie trailer which he composed together with Tying Tiffany as T.T.L.). As a producer/arranger his name is tied to more that 40 albums in various genres.

    Phase IX is his first American release: it is released on the Projekt label. But of course it’s available worldwide through the usual channels.

    The “translations of internal thought currents into autonomous sonic spheres” have a nice 70’s atmosphere, through the use of sequencer patterns of course (Dhalg Fu), but they are not strictly electronic: ‘natural’ ingredients are added by using instruments like the hang drum, cello and piano. Overall, this music fits perfectly next to that of Robert Rich or Steve Roach.

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Star’s End

    On Phase IX (62’25”), Lorenzo Montana plumbs his psyche for a new revelation… and out has come something that will challenge the definitions of what constitutes Ambient Music. A man of some sonic intelligence, Montana performs the nine tracks on Phase IX with passionate focus. The value of his compositions is not in the time that they last, but in the intensity with which they occur. Charged with Earthen energy, his softly tumbling backdrops support a shimmering solemnity. In a loose but urgent rhythmic rapport, the more energized works on this album present a hurting onrushing quality. As a bustling assemblage of entho-electro percussion and electronic textures struggle to lock into a conventional groove, we enter a slow burning meditation on the vital spirit. A storm system rolls in a softly rumbling backdrop, and the music’s effect slows the motion of the world – so that we may notice that which surrounds us.

    Gently descending, Montana seems even more interesting when he explores the darkness. Thick drones engulf metallic rubbing and digital crackle, as a grand piano slowly and certainly plays out a somber nocturne. Chords billow bright, then darken, with a throbbing bass pushing sparkling arpeggio chords through echo and reverb. Technology matters, but musicality matters more. This musician has a gift, perhaps even a genius, for translating thought and emotion into sonic form. Each piece feels infused with a measure of mystery and secrecy. Taken together, everything on Phase IX tallies the outlook of the musician. We should celebrate real thinking where ever we find it, and ponder the future in the way this album does, while we still can.

  3. Reviews Editor

    From Darkroom

    Lorenzo Montanà è un giovane compositore italiano attivo ufficialmente dal 2009, quando ha pubblicato il suo primo lavoro dal titolo “Black Ivy”. Dal 2013 Lorenzo comincia a pubblicare dischi su etichette quali Psychonavigation e Carpe Sonum, fondando anche una propria label, la Disco Dada Records, dedita a sonorità elettroniche di progetti prevalentemente italiani. Il primo vero riconoscimento in ambito internazionale si ha nel 2015 grazie alla collaborazione con Alio Die in Holographic Codex, uscito per la Projekt. Il disco evidentemente convince la label statunitense, tanto che questo nuovo lavoro “Phase IX” viene nuovamente pubblicato dall’etichetta di Sam Rosenthal. Rispetto alla tradizione ambient, Phase IX si presenta con tinte più elettroniche e industriali e con un mood decisamente più vicino alla dark ambient. Brani come “Glopsyche Eclipse” o “Fall’s Odyssey” confermano queste impressioni, anche se non mancano momenti in cui le atmosfere cupe tendono a dissolversi leggermente, suggerendo sensazioni di maggiore apertura: in questo senso la traccia “Dhalg Fu” è emblematica di un autore in cerca di spiragli di luce che ci risollevino da un mondo fatto di troppe ombre. Tentativi di armonie si ritrovano poi in “Mirror Of Consciousness”, grazie ai rintocchi di un pianoforte sghembo, mentre “Ura Senxet” è costruita su droni elettronici e lievi colpi di percussione. Lorenzo, infine, riprende i territori più ostici ed oscuri in “Opal Cave” e “Naadmir”, fino al monolite intimista di “Strings Of Patience”. È un bel lavoro questo Phase IX, degno di esser pubblicato da un’etichetta importante come la Projekt: in esso Lorenzo fa segnare nuovi passi in avanti nell’esprimere il proprio mondo interiore attraverso queste atmosfere ora inquiete, ora più serene. Anche se non è una pietra miliare nella storia dell’ambient music, Phase IX è un disco quantomeno personale e, soprattutto, è la nuova testimonianza di un percorso in fieri che saprà donarci nuove sorprese nei prossimi anni. -Ferruccio Filippi

  4. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé

    Italian ambient soundcrafter Montanà has released a number of albums since 2009, both solo and in collaborations, most are nearly impossible to find unless one seeks them out. In 2015, Projekt released his outstanding collaboration with Alio Die, Holographic Codex, which was my introduction to his work. Here, two years later, we have Phase IX, chronicling nine phases of the psyche, a floating ambient work that massages the mind on a number of levels. The nine pieces wander through numerous dreamlike spaces, some based on purely floating dronescapes with muted melodies (“Opal Cave” and the opener “Land’s End” pull the listener deep into this world), others are punctuated with beautiful percussive and melodic structures that shimmer and drift inside an elusive ever-morphing, slightly blurred world that lies just out of reach, until you realize you are right in the middle of it (“Mirrors of Consciousness,” “UraSenxit,” and “Dhalg Fu” follow this path). Every theme approaches gently, like a warm fog coming in from the distance, ultimately engulfing the listener. The nine tracks are discrete, and there is little documentation as to what instrumentation was used to create each of these, but it surely involves numerous layers of synths, studio processed acoustic instruments, and samples. Some of the pieces feature looping events like the repeating electronic foghorn sound that pulls the listener through the aforementioned “Opal Cave,” creating a dark cinematic mindscape of grand proportions. Wherever one finds themselves along this nine track journey, things are always changing, albeit slowly, as new sounds and textures are introduced and others are abandoned, which keep this interesting on a higher level, but also conjures warmth, distance, and a dreamlike itinerary on a purely subconscious level. -Peter Thelen

  5. Reviews Editor

    From Data Wave

    The new album of Lorenzo Montanà – Phase IX, released on the Projekt label in 2017, is a secluded trip to the secret woods by abandoned mysterious paths. This will be your first unexpected walk through the undiscovered corners of your soul. Our long and adventurous journey starts with the CD art, which shows what you need to be ready for: the mix between real and unreal, with the reality of the forest to your right and the mystery of the fog to your left, with the listener in the middle.

    We start slowly with Land’s End, which reveals the new landscape from a different dimension and sets the scene for the whole album. Listen to the sounds and follow the path to cross the border of the real world and enter a new one. The path has led us to the castle on the hill in Glopsyche Eclipse. The sad keys is the code to enter the castle. Once the keys are pressed in this specific sequence you may enter the castle. Walk carefully and beware, the inhabitants of the castle are somewhere near, you can still see their footprints in the dust.

    Dhalg Fu calls the ancient visions. You see old practices and rituals, the nature joins in the slow dance around the fire. Atmospheric percussion is joined by a slopped rhythm and, later, by psychedelic synths, the signature of the musician Lorenzo Montanà. This is a genuine magical art of music that puts you out of your normal state. At the end of the track you are not sure what is real and what is not.

    In case you got lost in Dhalg Fu, you can look in the Mirror of Consciousness and see that you are still you. Don’t look into it for too long, the rhythm intensifies and the image starts getting blurry. It is a trap! The sounds of classical piano in Fall’s Odyssey is the only stable form on the album, your only touch to the reality. Now, you are ready for the second part of our journey.

    Ura Senxet has pagan roots, it is unruly and unrestricted amorphous shape, similar to the fog at the beginning of our journey, hypnotizes you as you watch the fog surround you. And it doesn’t stop here. You follow the path to the Opal Cave, but all you see is fog. Something moving very near, almost touching you, you see shapes and silhouettes, but it is not an animal, neither a human. Then come the sounds of hissing, or is it somebody laughing at the lost traveler? I guess you’d be better not knowing what it is.

    You are back on the path in Naadmir and shake of the fog of you. You have realized where you are and have found the strength to continue the journey. Now the disturbance and hissing is behind, you have the experience and know where you are going. If the Mirror of Consciousness was a trap, in Naadmir imaginary world shows its admiration of the traveler. Strings of Patience is your last test, you complete the path and leave the forest, while distant sounds disappear slowly.

    Phase IX is a rare pearl in your collection and is to be consumed at once. All tracks fit organically to produce a landscape of unknown, landscape of the distant conscious world, which communicates in the sounds of Phase IX. -SD

  6. Reviews Editor

    An interview with Data Wave

    1. There’s an easily recognizable style in your music, your tracks are full of motion and rhythms that result in a fascinating combination of Ambient and IDM. How did you manage to achieve such a deep and atmospheric sound? What difficulties arose when you began making music?

    In my music I tend to reconstruct very precise images of natural environments. For me is exactly how to draw by taking the colors and creating forms. I don’t follow a logic linked to the patterns or musical structures, I just follow the instinct and let myself be guided by imagination as a writer does with a novel. Both the ambient and IDM are basically abstract sounds, I don’t have a particular style, I can develop my tracks with ethnic sounds influences, or classical music, up to noise and ambient sounds, so I can expand in all areas. The only obstacle that sometimes I have to face up with is not being able to translate into music what I have in mind, because maybe I lose too much time to find the right sound or groove and creative instinct is lost.

    2. Could you tell us about your studio? Do you have favorite instruments or synths? What do you use to record your music? Does your setup have something truly unique or special?

    Actually my setup in the studio is pretty simple, I have an electric piano that I use as controller for any virtual instruments. My platform is Cubase 8.5 which I’ve worked for years. Lately I enjoy to play also with Moog Sub37 specially about the bassline creation. Sometimes I use some ethnic Instruments like Hang Drum or a flute which sounds not far from Duduk which is Armenian instrument. I also records in some other studios where I work as producer for artists so I have sèveral places where I can play around.

    3. How important is for you, as a musician, the location of your studio? Where would it be more interesting to record your music, in a city or in the countryside?

    Definitely out of the city for me is a way better. My studio which is also my home is located just 10 minutes from the city center but its atmosphere really still feel like in the countryside. From my window I see fields and hills, there is nothing better for me to breath freedom. Years ago when I started working I created a small studio in the basement of my grandmother’s house which was also my rehearsal room for the band that I had in the 90’s. I spent hours with an 8-track analog recorder all day to experiment without seeing the daylight, but time has changed and I have to say that it’s so much better now.

    4. Your music definitely has psychedelic roots, but at the same time it’s very profound and naturally beautiful. It seems, your primary goal here is to change the audience’s perception, alter their state of mind. Is that truly so? What would you like to draw the audience’s attention to? Or maybe give them a hint that brings them closer to something?

    Yes, there is a psychedelic side very close to nature as a form of life. I like to tie the sensitivity of these issues with the human side to disconnect the thoughts of every day’s life and bring us back to a more primitive state.
    The expansion of consciousness comes from curiosity in order to expand your mind for a new way to seeing things. When you’re child everything seems bigger and more mysterious, we make fewer questions but with more fantasize, we don’t have the answers, and this leads makes us run through the corridors of the imagination, is something that over time you lose, but I hold very in this aspect.

    5. Tell us, what is your stance on altering one’s state of consciousness and being open-minded? Are you a supporter of the psychedelic culture, or do you think it’s a false path to development and true development occurs in a different way?

    Each person is free to do as they wish to enrich themselves. I personally prefer to play with reality, choosing to be consciously or unconsciously is dictated by myself, I think the reality in within which our brain works is the deepest form of personally research, because you have a lot more to fight t o reach the summit and feel free.

    6. People often ask you questions about Pete Namlook and your collaboration with him. We want to talk about him with you only a little bit. To what degree did his personality inspire you and what was that impressed you in him and his music?

    I listened to Peter’s music in the 90’s in the late night radio show called the Labyrinth. I used to listen it with my headphones before sleeping and I spent hours imagining these electronic worlds and how it was created. I’ve always discovered it very eclectic and experimental in all his works. I succeed to meet him and started to work on some records together that was something special for me that I will never forget. I remember him in the studio during a jam session and he took the guitar to start improvising jazz up on my groove, I was literally amazed. He was a great artist who i will always carry in my heart.

    7. Tell us, what amazing things have you seen in his studio? What are the surroundings and the inside atmosphere like? How did it make you feel, what impression did it make on you?

    The first time I was there I immediately got a good feeling. It was a house in the woods, an old hotel which has turned to be home and studio, upstairs the ceiling was full of windows and you could enjoy the scenery that was really amazing. There were a lot of synths and indescribable collections of instruments also movies and sci-fi books. After a cup of coffee we were getting immediately very well, he was curious and enthusiastic about my musical approach and more and more astonished at the creativity from both that went out together. Every time we took a break and went for a walk through the forest, then i understood that there were things that are very similar in our musically inspiration.

    8. Do you often perform in your home town? Do you have more live-concerts in Italy or outside of it?

    Not very often in my city, I did a show at the RoBOt Festival which is the most important electronic event in my town, I have more chances to play in contexts suitable to my music outside of Italy.

    9. Are you interested in the art of the Italian Futurists, European Dadaists and Surrealists? What is the most interesting thing for you in the world of art?

    I love the art and surrealist movements like Dadaism and Futurism. I studied art in school and have always found art very inspiring artistic language that go through poetry to cinema, Artists like Max Ernst, Giorgio De Chirico and Salvador Dali have definitely influenced my background, what I’ve always tried in my trial is the transcription into a musical form.

    10. What is your opinion on Luigi Rusollo and the Italian Noise scene? Are you interested in it?

    Somehow he was the first pioneer about noise and abstractionism in the form of music. He played through his machines that generate sounds seemingly discordant, at a conceptual level is certainly close, but in the perceptual result very different from what I do.

    11. Could you tell us more about Disco Dada Records label? As far as we know, you started it with a group of like-minded people. What inspired you to do it?

    My job for over 15 years is a producer for many artists and bands who is looking for a personal sound and I can work on their own individuality. I created Disco Dada Records with my friend Gianluca Lopresti and when we find interesting bands we work with them, mostly they are bands who sing in Italian. It is not a genre label, not experimental at all, we do what we believe is the right path for the band and we don’t follow any musical scene.

    12. What kind of music does the label release? Could you recommend us some artists from Disco Dada Records? Which release should we start from if we want to get more acquainted with the label?

    Surely there are interesting artists like Simona Gretchen who writes surreal lyrics about Italian culture on a background of folk noise music, or artists like Delenda Noia who retraces the italo disco of the 80’s in a darkwave sound, you can still find the release on spotify by the way.

    13. In your opinion, is your music targeted at a broad or specific audience?

    My music is definitely not for the general public, I prefer people who are curious to expand their vision and musical research associated with its visionary side, in short, my audience is a natural selection.

    14. Out of all the releases you’ve recorded, which one is your “business card”?

    I don’t think there is a reference album, I try to make a personal path and draw my feelings so it is very depending on personal taste, maybe my new album Phase IX contains a bit the feeling that at the moment I want to convey.

    15. Could you tell us about your new album? What is its name and theme? When is it going to come out?

    My new album is Phase IX, it’s release on Projekt, a label which I already worked with for an other album with Alio DIe called Holographic Codex.

    There is not a specific message, it’s just my personal trip divided in nine different phases of a visionary world about forest, mystery and ancient ruins, I would like to describe the feeling to be far from the world and finding something deep about our loneliness. Its more about a solitary walk through forgotten path that represent our ancient spirits and the connection to the most wild nature side.
    The album is gonna be release on March 2017 in 300 limited copies. Actually already available the order on Projekt website.

  7. Reviews Editor

    From Tiny Mix Tapes

    I have always had a lot of trouble falling asleep. As a result, I’ve spent much of my life listening to ambient music. When insomnia hits, sometimes even the most bare hint of a melody or a rhythm can be enough to keep one’s mind racing through the night. In my own experience, if you want the real, heavy come down, nothing does the trick quite like a vast, non-harmonic, beatless ambience.

    Phase IX, the sixteenth(!) album by Italian composer Lorenzo Montanà, does not always get to this place, but when it does — wow, it really does. I know that comparing music to a sleeping aid can be read as a diss, but I promise that in this case I am trying to give a compliment to the artist. Montanà’s soundscapes are meticulous and often very beautiful, and in their best moments reach a sort of ideal version of ambient music, surrounding one’s mind with infinite room to breathe. In its striving for spiritual epiphany, Phase IX is also unreconstructed New Age music, and from its alien synth bubbles down to its hand drums (as well as the Papyrus font on the cover) is almost begging to be meditated to.

    Whoever wrote this description on the album’s Bandcamp page, though, gets it much better than I could:
    Phase IX is a solitary walk through forgotten paths, an ambient symphony where acoustic and electronic elements weld alchemical joints obtained through complex design. Indulging in a deep haze, darkness and perfumes between sacred and profane, this is dream-infused music traveling the synapses of the mind firing sonic beauty along the way.

    Turn on the salt lamp and drift away, my friends. -Dylan Pasture

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