ALIO DIE: Deconsecrated and Pure (2012)
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
"More than a musical adventure without borders, Deconsecrated and Pure is to contemplative EM what Baudelaire is to loving poetry"
1 Layers of Faith 15:42 2 Obliterated Alcove 12:08 3 Peel Away This Mortal Coil 9:21 4 Cerulean Facade 10:08 5 De-Altared 18:10 PROJEKT PRO270 (CD/DDL 65:47)
An anchorite craftsman of a monastic and dreamlike musical world, Alio Die (Stefano Musso) unfolds its abstracted musical paintings on dark and ecclesiastical works since the beginning of the 90's. This Italian musician, who is much more a sculptor of musical forms than a keyboardist/ synthesist fond of long and complex sequenced structures, has built himself an enviable reputation in the circle of dark ambient EM, as prove it his about forty albums realized in collaborations with various artists in search of musical paintings with an ecclesiastical meditative nature. If the musical signature of Alio Die is stamped of a dark approach, it’s doesn’t show on DECONSECRATED and PURE. His 20th solo album, and his very first on the American label Projekt, is a mix of coldness and poetry in a stifling ambiance tetanized by layers with tones molded in a mixture of metal and angels' sighs gliding in oblivion.
Very poetic and musical breaths, sounding as plaintive oboes, open Layers of Faith. Serene and meditative, the mood is divested of rhythms and leans on subtle modulations which stroll Layers of Faith in some mesmerizing ecclesiastical corridors. It’s a long contemplative canvas where layers of synth, or other instruments sculptors of sounds, crisscross and float among fine ringing, immersing the listener in a strange monasterial tranquility. More bright than somber, Layers of Faith is intubated by fine lines of flutes which chant seraphic tunes on a long musical sculpture where discreet choruses roam beyond strange rustles which rob the serenity of a secret bass line’s oscillations. I quite liked it, especially since the pattern plunges me into Michael Stearns' ambient works. Cerulean Facade embraces the same meditative outline with iridescent layers and rippling waves which propel the delicate ringing of prismatic carillons. More immured with its angelic choruses which hum a sanctified litany, Obliterated Alcove plunges us into a somber monastic atmosphere. The first half is quite occult, black to the limit, with celestine layers which spatter the calmness of the devout choir while the second part is sharply more celestial with sanctified singings which flow like voices without purposes on the waves of a prismatic brook. Peel Away This Mortal Coil and De-Altared are two titles molded in the same alloy of metal in decomposition. Everything is of a fetid scent of metal which crumbles in an oblong unchanging din. The layers are nasal and scratch a structure soaked with a thick cloud of tones as metallic as ill-assorted. If we hear fluty breaths to moan, we also hear silvered blades complain such as some bagpipes on decline among carillons, tinkling, rustles and lapping of water which become entangled in astral hollows where moan the modulations of bass hidden in twilights abstruse. On the other hand, the finale of De-Altared is more musical, brushing the leaded sweetnesses of the introductory track.
More than a musical adventure without borders nor musical beacons, DECONSECRATED and PURE is to the contemplative EM what Baudelaire is to loving poetry. It's a dark work. Not because of its musicality, but rather because of its contents which is extremely lumbering and atonal. If certain nuances illuminate our loudspeakers and dandle our ears of a certain iconoclastic magnetism, the fusion of tones, which sometimes embrace breaths of a silvered coldness, is scratching any attempt to tame a work which finds its entire dimension close to a circle of initiated and lovers of an EM without auditory images. Circle of which I’m visibly not in it!
Sylvain Lupari (April 22nd, 2012)
Available on Projekt Records Bandcamp