Review: Adriano Cava – Lineology (Mahorka, Mar 25)

Though Italy is home to a seemingly endless list of pioneering sound artists, any stylistic homogeneity among them is practically nonexistent. The work of Turin’s Adriano Cava illustrates well the general emotional and cathartic approach to concrete music that makes the country’s role in the global scene impossible to overlook; leading up to Lineology, the artist has been steadily refining a simple palette of muffled tape recordings, melody, and subtle processing, and perhaps here more than anywhere else they coalesce into a haunting, delicate sort of ambient electronica whose layered beauty sacrifices neither ease nor edge. Though both “Digital Lines” and “Magnetic Lines”—each a four-part, 25ish-minute suite—tend more toward a synthetic atmosphere than an organic one, there’s a profound human element present, a deep but nonspecific nostalgia that lets the soundscapes resonate far beyond just their dynamic movements and textural intricacies. The final section of “Magnetic Lines” is a fantastic conclusion, somehow delivering the album’s most conventionally pretty moments through spectral shimmer and bit-rotted digital loops. As if anyone needed yet another reason to support Mahorka—one of several labels that puts out music as both quality physical copies and free Creative Commons downloads—but here’s one anyway.

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