Review: Giovanni Lami & Glauco Salvo – Ife (Dinzu Artefacts, Jan 15)

There are a lot of words I could use to describe the patient, reserved tape music of Ife, a collaboration between Italian artists Giovanni Lami and Glauco Salvo. One that immediately comes to mind is ‘simmering;’ especially with the track that occupies the entirety of the A side, there is a tense, quiet energy that seems to always be on the edge of boiling over. The loudest, most intrusive elements of the track are the clear electronic pulses that occasionally emerge, and even then they are neither loud nor intrusive on their own. These thin, fragile drones are a sound I’ve come to heavily associate with Lami’s work, but here they are tempered and thickened by Salvo’s tape playback and water recordings, and the resulting music is more dense than, say, In Chiaro / In Guardia from last year. But Salvo’s contributions don’t really inject a sense of naturality or invoke a real-life location; instead, they push the shifting mixtures of sounds into a unique physical environment of textures. Even on the sparser beginning of side B, Lami’s soft reel to reel manipulations are forced to occupy a very different role than they would on their own, with the looping bleeps and fractured rhythms again creating a defined structure, this time a hollow framework that seems to softly tumble along. While I was unfamiliar with Salvo’s work prior to Ife, the tape is certainly the most impressive collaborative outing I’ve heard from Lami, and yields much more than its relatively short length would imply.