Frantz Loriot: viola, objects; Sean Ali: contrabass, objects; Carlo Costa: drums, percussion
Another meritorious outing by Natura Morta after their debut EP in 2012. Decay contains four considerate improvisations devised with absolute dignity, the trio making the most of deceptively frail structures as the music – though never exceeding certain dynamic thresholds – results gifted with vital strength to spare (the record’s title notwithstanding, one would say). In “Sirens”, distinguished by a plenitude of upper partials enriching asymmetrically cadenced materials, the voices palpitate and overlap; a relatively placid opening gradually reveals interesting outgrowths inside an abrasive fabric of unresolved dissonances. “Miasmata” is perhaps the part that truly bewitches me, a fine balance of efficacious frequencies with a correct dosage of self-examination. It crackles and creaks like an old wooden stairway about to crumble, toneless noises and strained scrubbing delineating an unwelcoming environment. This episode is also defined by simple percussive figurations founded on cymbals and tuned drums expanding their speed and reach with the passage of time. “The Burial Of Memories” is, at over 18 minutes, the lengthiest track on offer. Beginning with shrilling metallic scrapes to continue with a variety of rarefied events, clattering manipulations and unblemished juxtapositions, the piece resembles a ritual performed by three humble scientists turned shamans for a night, the whole ending with a brief crescendo that instantly disappears, pointing us towards the ultimate silence. “As The Dawn Fades” is entirely constructed upon ringing drops (reminiscent, in a way, of Kraftwerk’s “Kling Klang”), ample breathing spaces warranted to conclude a judiciously low-key album. Absorption and eventual acceptance come rather naturally, in small stages.