Few records imply unconditional certainties ever since one reads the notice of their release. In the case of Slugabed – a fusion of Nikos Veliotis’ cello’s severity with Klaus Filip’s sinewaves – we’re sure both of a first-rate artistic assertion and a direct proportion between dearth of movement and emotional response. As if some weather divinity had foreseen my listening intentions, this morning has begun with what the trade defines as a “plumbeous” sky that is pouring rain at varying levels of intensity. In the meantime, the music unfolds as expected but not less connecting, the prevalence of a droning malaise complemented by alternatively escalating and declining radiations generated by the electronics. The latter carve ample craters in the frequency surface, unhurriedly shifting the weight across the various regions of the audio spectrum. Veliotis adapts his technique to the changes, looking to maintain the extreme gradualness of the gestures also in the upper range of the instrument. Thus, don’t be fooled by the inherent conventions of the word “drone”: this is a piece whose subtleties are revealed little by little, leading the listener through diverse kinds of expression of interior silence via fading shades, brittle rigorousness and – you guessed right – large doses of gloominess. An acoustic mechanism that should be left reiterating its cycle all day long just to inhale the fumes, no matter the level of comprehension. Unfathomable or totally clear, depending – as always – on the receiver’s mindset.

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