I’m not sure if keeping up with terms such as darkness, anguish and horror in each and every writing related to Valerio Tricoli’s output does justice to the high quality of the music he composes. The fairly remarkable Miseri Lares (also on this label, 2014) had originated a few “bad acid trip” reports in that sense; but there’s much more in there for the auricular membranes to decipher and struggle with than a chain of trite references to the disturbing aspects of the subconscious. Granted, the use of incomprehensible muttering and hypothetically “threatening” noises immediately revs up the talking engines of those who can’t help associating this kind of creation to a cheap variety of problematic psychology. The effective risk is that of privileging the obvious (and less important) characteristics in electroacoustic patchworks that affirm Tricoli’s talent for numerous other factors instead.
The composer himself is not averse to dramatization, given that he introduces Clonic Earth thus: “as if all the debris left inside my loudspeakers have been ignited to expand into the ether, to find a justification at the principle of Chaos, or Cosmos alike”. I’ve heard my fair share of Cosmic Debris (Zappa quote intended) thrown up by theoretically enlightened traumatized cerebra over several decades; the aforementioned phrase sounds sinisterly close to that pretentious bullshit. The inkling here, though, is that Tricoli’s wish to communicate what seems to perturb his soul to an audience is honest. Which is the main reason behind the following suggestion to the handful of dear readers still willing to bear with this old curmudgeon: listen to this album as an organic sonic whole.
Forget about the number of tracks, the length, the names. This work must be fed to the ears continuously (headphones recommended) to physically absorb the intrinsic emotional shades that render it unique, and to let it gradually turn into a turbulent aura. It’s superior to Miseri Lares: more concise and focused in various ways, notwithstanding the same brand of acoustic rough matter as starting point. Impressive dynamics and mutant architectures remain unhampered by the processed vocal snippets; overall, the latter are better employed on a compositional level. The condensation of events never pushes the VU meters of brain-cluttering oppression to red; all that appeared as superfluous in the preceding release was intelligently excised here. The mind would indeed love to get some grip on the tarmac of instant comprehension, but Tricoli is brilliant in juxtaposing ambiences defined by slippery paths, elusive contours, humid perceptions, reverberating absurdities, heavily breathing human specimens, waveringly inhuman chants. And, on occasion, fantastic droning interludes. By furtherly fine-tuning the most gripping intuitions and getting rid of the psycho-philosophical appendages that so enthuse the official critics, this man will enter the restricted area of truly relevant acousmatic masterminds without special permissions.