Nikos Veliotis, Ilios, Coti K: custom-made instruments, software

The undetailed instrumentation quoted by the press release cannot conceal the proverbial consistency of cello, electric double bass and electronics as substratal sources in Mohammad’s compositional district. Speaking of territories, Zo Rèl Do is the first part of a trilogy planned around “the sounds of the geographical area between 34°N – 42°N & 19°E – 29°E” (I didn’t check the atlas, but it’s not that important). What captured me during the customary full immersion in the trio’s vibrational magnitude was the veritable life cycle illustrated by the music. As a matter of fact the record starts with voices and noises from a crowded street; it could very well be a flea market, a wooden flute player underscoring the activities with fervent obstinateness, the expression of a buzzing materiality in what appears as the daily animation of a somewhat happy poverty in an unspecified location. The closing of the circle is a wonderful five-minute choir of cicadas ending the album, the clearest indication of mid-summer isolation (which – in this writer’s case – is all the more touching, having been the latter condition the origin of fundamental private discoveries; these gentlemen’s art repeatedly throws your chronicler in that sort of flashback).

Bracketed by the aforementioned events, the acoustic circumstances that have placed Mohammad among my pet bands in recent years: harmonically indeterminate sepulchral drones and fairly cantabile monstrous utterances, replete with ferocious clusters, incisively veracious in their physical scope. You can see the tiny heads of a hundred partials emerge from the roaring mass, each one screaming “look at me!”. This time we can also observe an increase in the corporeal impact of the uncompromising dark cadences released by Veliotis, Ilios and Coti, whose instruments literally rake the skull with vehemence bordering on genuine anger. If you pay attention, there’s a good chance of individuating several “folk songs” inside the collective texture; however, the lowest frequencies are always there to remind us of a nonindulgent dominance, furnishing us with a misleading tone of security: a superior authority supervising whatever happens, still leaving us unhappily conscious in regard to the impossibility of changing our future.

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