Review: Carlo Giustini – Manifestazioni (Lontano Series, Sep 28)

The first release I remember really loving this year was Carlo Giustini’s La stanza di fronte, the Italian sound artist’s debut tape on ACR. Since then, Giustini has released over five hours of music across three ambitious tapes further exploring and refining his unique harnessing of the acoustics of minimally treated, low-fidelity tape and contact microphone recordings. Manifestazioni is his latest and best, achieving new, gorgeous heights in its dusty nebulae of analogue hiss and reverb, the same elements that made the aforementioned albums so great. As with those, Manifestazioni is based on an environment; where La stanza di fronte captured the haunting creaks and groans of an old house and Sant’Angelo magnified the organic beauty of its eponymous gardens, it takes us through abandoned streets in Giustini’s home town of Treviso, whose sonic qualities are both desolate and comforting. The muffled passing of occasional cars, distant unintelligible voices, the solitary bark of a dog far away; all the sounds contribute to a rich blend of textures, each distinct yet still obscured by the murk of the medium, painting pictures of lonely alleyways and crumbling house fronts that hide in the mist.