Review: Attilio Novellino & Collin McKelvey – Metaphysiques Cannibales (Weird Ear, Jul 1)

Attilio Novellino and Collin McKelvey come together once again to create an ambitious album of disjoint electronic collages. Metaphysiques Cannibales, their second collaborative release after their Hypehunt split series cassette, is a haphazard amalgam of an impressive range of sounds. The pair utilizes granular synthesis and other techniques to process instruments, tape recordings, and synthesizers, creating cryptic and complex sonic mixtures. Overlooking the insufferably pretentious description of these processes on the album’s Bandcamp page, the results materialize in truly unexpected and amazing ways. Part I begins with cut up stutter-steps of noisy contortions and travels through a whirlwind of unpredictable maneuvers before culminating in a beautiful ambient passage, whose unceremonious disintegration ends the piece. Part II is more subtle, building from foggy synth frequencies to lethargic, swirling frequencies that lift to reveal mechanical recordings and a distant speech sample. The conclusion of this part is my favorite part of the record, and sees distorted keyboard chords battling with oscillating noises and disturbing background sounds that resemble the gurgles of some horrible monster. I don’t think Metaphysiques Cannibales is as complex as the creators and/or label think, but it’s definitely incredible and is one of the most fulfilling releases I’ve heard this year.

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