LUCIO CAPECE – Zero Plus Zero

Potlatch

Lucio Capece: all instruments

Spent the last couple of days with this, the first solo CD by Capece (out over a year ago by now). A fine enough album for sure, six tracks exploring insidious nuances and powerful droning with technical cognition and good taste bathed in decency. You look at the instrumentation on the cover – more on that later – and perhaps can create the contents by mental act (well, reviews already exist so there is no actual surprise for those who are adequately curious).

Slowly shifting clusters fix the whole of “Some Move Upward Uncertainly (For Harley Gaber)”; a sruti box’s renowned vibrancy is increased by a continual inherent undulation, harmonic precariousness generated by involuntary suspended 4th chords towards the end. The title track exploits a prepared soprano saxophone without the snore-inducing aspects of a large part of today’s reductionism; metallic ringing and rolling around (…within?) the sax’s bell, a sort of motorization obtained… heaven knows how, unvoiced (or distinctly audible) pitches and exhalations representing an endurable mix throughout, a welcome “water-ish” reverberation adding a different dimension to the sonic perspective.

“Inside The Outside I” introduces a “double plugged equalizer”, a ring modulator, the neck of a bass clarinet, cassette and Minidisc walkmans. The drones are interspersed with silences, the close throbbing still an aurally exciting lineament; a sense of unperturbed observation of the evolution of an existence materializes while listening, at least until the subsonic muscle grows: the humming becomes really sturdy, strange short curves are delineated by the reed in the meantime, progressively mutilated and dirtied.

“Inside The Outside II” is a compellingly hypnotic electronic study ending with beautiful echoes of “tuned backyard” (practically speaking, the environment’s circumstantial sounds captured through variously sized cardboard tubes), whereas “Spectrum Of One” is a roomy interlude for sine waves. The conclusive “Inside The Outside III” seals the envelope with possibly the most inward-looking music here: Capece’s bass clarinet – alone or, again, with artificial conduits – roams mysteriously in the realm of ultra-low frequencies and debilitated upper partials, rendered as if coming from the body of a giant whose pulmonary mechanisms are about to stop.

In spite of a length of almost 80 minutes, Zero Plus Zero never manages to bore or annoy an assimilative listener, its procedural correctitude and structural understandability the ultimate winning cards. Not an all-time masterpiece, but definitely a solid release.

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