“Auralspace” by Bruno Sanfilippo is one of those discs that completely astounds me. I’ve quite enjoyed Sanfilippo’s work for some time, but with “Auralspace” he’s surpassed any expectations I’ve ever had about his music. This is quite simply a masterpiece of the ambient genre, an album where every tone, every melody, even the silence, is perfectly placed in the soundscape. To be honest, I think I’m doing it a disservice by trying to describe it in words, so do yourself a favor and go out and buy it now. But if you still need any convincing, I’ll do my best
to describe it. Just remember that the time you’re spending reading about what I think, you could be listening to it instead…
It all begins with “Mimosa Hostilis”, and a silence that is slowly broken by a drone steadily increasing in volume. As it builds, there are the sounds of metal blowing in the wind and a breathy woodwind enters the soundscape, expanding the track, illing it out from the inside. As time passes, all of these tones and more blend together to create a real space, a beautiful environment ready for exploration. “Imagined Reality” follows, the track growing out of swelled tones rising up to the listener from silence. It’s a very natural progression, very organic, and as time passes, the soundfield becomes more distinct, more full, until the listener is enveloped in this newly created space.
The rest of the disc is equally powerful and engaging. Title track “Auralspace” builds around minimal melodies and slowly rotating pads, steadily repeating pulses creating a rhythm for the listener to identify with. The track drifts on the edge of the senses, right at that point just before awareness ends, just beyond recognition. “Divine Moments” ebbs and flows, a tidal pull of tones that slowly tugs at the senses. It’s a stunning piece, a sensory experience that’s sublime in it’s beauty. With time it swells and grows, but never enough to be obtrusive or aggressive, always staying soft, warm, and inviting.
“Poema Electronico” is built around a similar opening, a swelling pad that rises and falls amidst a collection of noises. Horn-like synths play in the distance, then fade away into nothingness leaving only a quiet percussive element to be heard amid slight melodies playing in the distance. “Pampa” begins with a rotating drone, a sound that emerges from nothing. A whistling tone drifts through, filling the sound space for a moment and then vanishing into silence. Everything happens on a very tiny, very quiet scale, and it’s all very beautiful, very slight and serene. It’s difficult to pinpoint particular sounds or noises or tones, instead it all comes together in a collection of sounds that work together in perfect harmony. The best is saved for last though, with the epic “Surreal Sense” closing the disc. A series of echoing tones and repeated musical phrases building up into a beautiful wall of sound where tones grow and move through the space of the track, becoming something beautiful that connects and resonates with the listener. Around the ten minute mark the track finds a new direction and the soundscape starts to change, become something else, but nothing at odds with what’s been done so far. Rather it becomes something complementary to the earlier half of the track, something that fits in nicely, effectively, with the sound that’s gone before. An evolution? A change? Perhaps it’s just easier to say something new…
Over the last few years, I’ve truly enjoyed listening to Bruno Sanfilippo developing as an artist and honing his craft. He’s made some wonderful music to this point, some truly magical discs that never cease to appeal and inspire. And on this latest release “Auralspace” Sanfilippo has made a disc that brings together all the best elements of previous works and expands and builds on them, resulting in a stunning collection of ambient music that I cannot recommend enough. Now go, get yourself a copy of “Auralspace” and find out what you’ve been missing. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.