COTI – Onda

Triple Bath

The recent 3-LP set by Mohammad (Spiriti, on Antifrost) has not stopped radiating droning beauty after many months from its release. When I rescued 2010’s Onda from the hundreds of recordings that keep amassing all over my house, the thought was something around the lines of “let’s see if this is an earlier one-third of Spiriti”. The answer is “erm, no”. Conceived for solo electric contrabass (recorded in solitude in an island named Tinos), this work is surprisingly palatable, often melodic, even more frequently tending to minimalism. And of course, yes, Coti concedes some measure of powerful static growl: when it comes, it recalls Phill Niblock rather than his explorations of ultra-bottom ranges with Nikos Veliotis and Ilios. Also, it must be noted that the lone bower chose a lo-fi appearance for the recording: the overall acoustic impression is willingly nasal, a hoarseness preventing us from hearing the actual breathing of the instrument’s wood. And yet, Costantino Kiriakos (born in Milan, soon transplanted in Greece) makes the very most of these hypotethical deficiencies, finding spots for ominous creaks and rich resonances, inventing circular patterns, sawing the space via diagonal arco slashes. The whole emits a smoke that seems to obscure the view at first but instead reveals a series of question marks amidst sweet mechanical lullabies.

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