NINNI MORGIA & WILLIAM PARKER – Prism

Ultramarine

Released in 2010 but – as a matter of course for this scribe – approached only now, Prism has gained quite a number of rave reviews over the months. I’m not the kind of person who gets influenced by anything, either negative or positive; still, writing on an album after having read what other experts (or presumed experts) think of it is different than throwing away words as soon as the item comes out.

In the case of this duo for hyper-processed guitars and bass (Parker also plays slide whistle and a wind instrument called grille, yet the “big box” is what really counts) a sizeable complaint must arise for the release’s format, a double LP. Since the pair mostly tends to examine the ethereal aspects of interplay, and that many tracks sound related in terms of overall sonority despite some morphological difference, the ideal medium would probably be a CD, especially if played in shuffle mode. In this way, Morgia’s wash-and-float in the waters of his heavily modified timbres – in lieu of a genuine phraseology – would have acquired supplementary doses of significance, and the music might have benefited from a higher degree of unpredictability. As it is, a sensation of “noodling around” rears its ugly head rather frequently, and flipping sides thrice – each time following just 15 minutes or so of electrically spacey flutters and gurgles rendered more robust by Parker’s pumping plucking and brawny moans – almost becomes a chore, in consideration of the paucity of veritable surprises.

Mind you: a few chunks of this record are unquestionably fascinating, but we’re certainly distant from a milestone status. Perhaps what’s missing is a little heart, or at least an additional touch of bloody dynamics. As for Parker declaring that this is the stuff of his dreams, political correctness is evidently attempting to steal a small piece of soul from a veteran activist.

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