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Andrea Marutti and Fausto Balbo – Detrimental Dialogue

Andrea Marutti and Fausto Balbo - Detrimental Dialogue

CD, AFE Records/Boring Machines/Fratto9 Under The Sky Records, 2010

If you haven’t heard of Andrea Marutti by now, you should be a little bit ashamed. He’s not only the man behind Amon, but he is also responsible for the quite impressive roster of the Italian Afe Records. Fausto Balbo, on the other hand, is perhaps a new name for you – as he was for me, too. After fifteen years of making music apart from each other, their paths crossed in 2005, and since then they have been working every now and then on this release. Please note that “every now and then” in this case means “very intense with week-long sessions in both studios”.
The album “Detrimental Dialogue” is their first collaboration, and it contains explorations of various types of analogue and digital synthesis. If you are not yet introduced to that part of experimentalism, yes, there is more then ‘just’ analog or digital. To quote from the press sheet: additive, subtractive, physical modeling, FM, phase distortion, granular, etc.
The 48 minutes of this release are divided into four tracks, entitled “Winter”, “Indulge me”, “Set-Back” and “Troubled Elephant”, and with the best will in the world I couldn’t explain these titles to you. But rest assured that while listening to these tracks I have tried to figure it out.
The drones and ambient parts slowly fade you in and out (of an uncertain state) of consciousness, while the intrusive experiments in minimal noise, glitch and pure waveforms rip you out of there and force you to feel the here, the now and reality; this latter in all its beautiful and confrontational aspects.
Through the use of effects, the sounds that are used on this album – and then mainly those noisy escapades – are put into a really nice perspective. The stereo image as well as the depth have an exceptional extra dimension, which makes the album as a whole interesting for a) modular sound nerds (you know who you are) and b) people who want to hear proof that there is more than your mind can handle.
It’s going straight into my collection, next to Robert Piotrowicz’ “Lasting Clinamen”, and the additional mini-poster with the music-making aliens and insect-shaped speakers by Stefano ‘Sicksoul’ Rossetti is getting an honorary place on my studio wall. For inspirational purposes… Or just to space out!


– Bauke van der Wal

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