Mostly beatless, melodic ambient music. Bruno Sanfilippo here combines silken synthesiser tone, twinkling sequential patterns and elegant string formations. The tracks are mostly without beats, yet often not without rhythm; cycling motifs ripple in regular time, dancing arpeggios bright and prominent in places, subtle in others, hypnotic in repetition. The opening track does have a percussive beat; deep, sonorous ethnic hand drums reverberating in layered patterns and there are a few other percussive flecks here and there. There are a number of drifting passages without any obvious metre where undulating drones gather into profound intensities; within these restful, shadowy zones Sanfilippo artfully places just the right sparcity of piano touches, spectral voice atmospheres or reverberating metallic chimes. There are some environmental recordings in places; a low grumble of thunder, water movement, distant bird or insect calls; Alchemical Powers especially drawing a lot of its exotic mystique from these sounds of nature. The concluding track Mantram is a charming piece where dreamy string lines ebb and flow against the idle tide of warm synth pads – very introspective, very beautiful.
ARTWORK Subliminal Pulse is delivered in a card digipack of three fold-out panels. The imagery throughout is comprised of swirling loops of yellow/orange light of varying lustre. Irregular forms yet crafted and purposeful; some like spinning flames, others like pulses of electric light. On the front cover, complete cycles are visible in middles distance of similar hue to the titles. On the rear cover the loops are close up and layered. Here, track titles with their times are numbered by a series of increasing dots. The final outer panel holds a brief explanation from Bruno as to the concepts behind the music. Within a single spread of close-up light loops runs across all three panels. All are without disturbance except for the left most where credits, a gear list and website address can be found.
OVERALL Although Argentinean electronic ambient composer and recording artist Bruno Sanfilippo has been releasing distinctive instrumental music for around two decades, clocking up fourteen items on his discography, and although he is presently based in Barcelona, Spain, Subliminal Pulse is his first official US release. The disc contains nine mid-length tracks all hovering around the six/seven minute mark apart from Intrinsic Fluctuations which takes in a second over fourteen minutes.