Expect to get comfortably lost in the breathy drifts and long-horizon washes of Bruno Sanfilippo’s latest outing, Auralspace.
The seven tracks here exhibit a patient grace as they’re crafted in velvety tones with the occasional bit of rough edge left on for texture.
Overall the feeling is one of shadowy contemplation, excellent for quiet looping. “Mimosa Hostilis” starts the disk off with the high, slightly disonant trill of a flute that fades away to long pads accented with bird sounds.
(This may be one of the first ambient CDs to not only mention on the inside cover that bird sounds appear on it, but to also bother to identify the featured species–which in my book is pretty cool.) There’s a church-organ feel to the synth here, bringing an appropriate sense of quiet reverence. The flute reappears toward the end, a nice touch to bring the piece full circle. “Imagined Reality” is constructed of fairly straigthtforward synth pads and downward-spiralling electro-glissandos with space for breath between them, bolstered by a simple tribal beat
for a nice classic sound. The title track eases in with broad sweeps and a slowly building rhythm.
I like the almost tinny sound Sanfilippo’s chosen to put in the forefront here. It adds an intriguing mechanical edge to the piece.
“Divine Moments” wraps the listener in a warm coccoon of sound–a perfect 10-minute meditation that eases the breathing and calms the
mind with its gently wavering pads and the soft vocal samples that slip in toward the end.
This moves into “Poema Electronico,” where a heavy drone and urgent flute cut a path through a darker space.
Sanfilippo hangs a sense of uncertainty in his pauses, and shifts the mood subtly at the halfway mark–lightening slightly while not losing the edge. “Pampa” is an easy-drift piece of long, smooth drones with the right amount of electronic tweakage at the edges to give it a spacey sensibility. Auralspace closes with “Surreal Sense,” the longest track on the disk.
Light and pulsing, it’s a spacemusic-style journey with a subtle, implied beat. Sanfilippo takes the pulse and morphs it across the 16-minute span, keeping its identity fresh and interesting and bringing the whole disk to a quiet, satisfying close. Each piece on Auralspace has room to fully establish its identity, the shortest clocking in just to the thin side of 8 minutes. And within those spaces, there’s no sense of too much or too little. It’s a well balanced disk. In addition, the work is presented nicely, with artwork by Sanfilippo himself.
For its quiet beauty, depth of construction and the way it just gets better on repeat play,
Auralspace is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.