Saturday, 29th April 2017. 11:36:26am ET


ARTIST: Stendeck

ALBUM: Sonnambula

LABEL: Tympanik Audio

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 5-29-10

 

Haunting, sparse, rich, spacey, understated, majestic...Stendeck's newest album is all of these things and more. Opening tracks "Something Special Is Going to Happen" and "Through Tiny Windows We Wonder Constellations" are otherworldly, a bit wistful, the latter in particular capturing a certain mystical immensity that recalls the themes (though not actually the theme song) of Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Similarly, "An Autumnal Afternoon in the Family's House," despite a title suggesting a prosaic scene, wends its way from deep space ambiance to a lush cinematic climax. Other tracks, like "Blind Army Parade" and "It Must Be Heaven," show more overt industrial influences, with metallic breakbeats thrumming beneath stretched out electronic drones. Though drawing on a variety of electronic traditions, project creator Alessandro Zampieri also works in enough organic elements to keep things from sounding too mechanical or processed. A number of tracks are built around piano, with "Admira and Bosko (Love During the Time of War)" standing out with its gradually building loops and "Happy Little Children Playing on the Cherry Tree" combining lovely melodies and quiet synthesizer patches into a motif that's as cheerful as its title without being saccharine. Guitar also makes an occasional appearance, as on the touching and melancholy "I Fear All the Moments You Will Need Me and I Won't Be There," and "Broken Hearts Carillon" uses a snare sound that, though probably sampled, adds an earthiness to the track's layered ambient sequences. Brilliant and subtle, this could be called Stendeck's best release yet, for any number of reasons, and comes highly recommended to fans of any sort of electronic music, from breakbeat to ambient to experimental techno to avant-garde classical.

Check out Stendeck's official website at www.stendeck.com .


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