Adern X is the nom de guerre of Andrea Piran, who benevolently pointed me towards two of his creatures – 2011’s Polaroid and 2012’s Ink Spots Called Words – in which he deals with computerized modifications of antecedent sources. The material’s extent mainly encompasses processed field recordings and manipulated/reassembled samples. Piran is deeply involved in the development of a sub-metropolitan poetry of sorts inside these treatments, letting us visualize barren landscapes and melancholic flashes in an electroacoustic craquelè that leaves no space to immoderate irony or manifest fun. This is to say that the man appears as a serious operator, not someone who limits the scope of “creativity” to gathering a hundred splinters and meshing it nonchalantly to generate chaotic diversions. There is a noticeable search for the recondite implications of cyclical reiteration, and also a definite inclination to framing the unhappy factor springing out of antediluvian idealism into contemporary settings without carbon copies of other people’s glories (you know what we mean, when decaying loops are concerned; but there’s no authentic risk of plagiarism in this case). Most of all, Adern X’s conceptions seem entirely taken by a process-to-valid-result, A-to-B logic that should ideally represent the foundation of the finest consequences in current computer music, with over-average humanity for good measure. Sporadically, the acoustic appearance might not be enthralling. But the aroma of a total commitment to the “communication” of something important is clearly perceptible.
That said, Polaroid was generated from two lengthy portions of previously occurred live performances, whereas the beautifully titled Ink Spots Called Words collects tracks that were released from 2007 to 2012 on various compilations and projects. Although the obvious differences in atmospheres and core substances render the outcome rather uneven, the coherence that unifies this pair of statements is evident (they even share a few segments). Amidst the growing tensions and the everyday routines symbolized by some of the episodes, Piran always tries to find methods to let us stop and reflect on what we’re listening to. And – please take note – the listening act means “concentration”. Don’t let the ceaseless machine-like rhythms (occasionally recalling Esplendor Geometrico) and the extreme vocal cut-ups fool you into thinking about an asinine potpourri. The wholeness of the combined shapes, the nearly grotesque resonance of certain fragments, the peculiarly emotional aspects of the “smoother” pieces; all of the above contributes to magnify the details of extremely specific macrocosms where introspection, neurosis and – ultimately – the release of copious doses of dynamic energy weigh the same. I cannot guarantee that you will consider everything adorable but – sure enough – the immediately discernible identity of Adern X’s sonic fauna is a feature that not many Italians can expose, for in this depressing country the preference usually goes to striding along the beaten paths of imitation/modeling, whatever the ambit. At the end of the day, Piran is a reasoning human specimen, and those thoughts translate into challenging and often truly dazzling music.