Review: Banished Pills – have mercy (Sounds Against Humanity, Mar 3)

Though have mercy runs just 17 minutes, its structure is clearly defined and it feels perfectly paced. The new tape from Turin, Italy–based sound artist Edoardo Cammisa (who releases music as Banished Pills) makes use of sounds as fleeting and diminutive as its short duration, finding a delicate beauty in the textures of clattering objects and choice bits of warbly synthesis. The opening trilogy of tracks, “bonds_I-III,” begins with a Small Cruel Party–esque symphony of closely recorded rattle and rustle, with the first piece exploring the entirety of the stereo field while retaining a palpable sense of empty space (it’s this latter quality that engendered my SCP comparison, I think). Things get even sparser with “II,” in which an array of domestic recordings forms a skeletal structure around a looping, sprightly synth melody. These tonal pieces create interesting interplay between themselves and the less conventionally musical elements whose world they occupy—though on “wounds_I,” it’s hard to even tell which is which. have mercy also doesn’t restrict itself to the familiar and the minuscule; “wounds_III” is a cut of cavernous environmental capture, which nonetheless possesses the same sense of tactile action and movement as the previous pieces. The concluding “smoke slowly surrounds her lungs” occupies some mysterious midpoint between tiny and vast, crafting a wide, intricate soundscape from the smallest of ingredients that ends beautifully.

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