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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALLUSTE: Boards of Stringana (2013)

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Boards of Stringana prooves once again that Alluste (Piero Monachello) has an innate sense of melody and rhythm

1 Boards of Stringana 6:27

2 Elektro Scape 7:44

3 Diamonds in the Sky 5:30 

4 Lost in the Tunnel 6:22

5 Quantum Reality 8:20  

6 Pulse my Head 8:08 

7 Wavetable Dreams 10:14

8 It will not be the Same as Before 8:21

(DDL 61:08) (V.F.)

(Sequencer-based New Berlin School)

I know that it can surprise the greenhorns, but EM gains more and more followers and among them we find home artists who compose and produce their music from synths software and virtual synth sequencers. Alluste is doubtless the most beautiful success in this parallel universe where creators left out of account by the big labels isolate themselves in their fantasies, weaving a universe of fantasy from the tips of their fingers. For Alluste, the adventure lasts since almost 8 years. Year after year, even as twice last year, the Italian synthesist offers the fruit of his digital reflections in a downloadable format via his Bandcamp account. And each of his albums ingrains this perception that we have under the ears a very good EM composer who has an innate sense of melody and rhythm. BOARDS OF STRINGANA offers 8 tracks which are in the lineage of Euphemisms and Aphorisms, but with a more somber approach where atmospheres of psybient encircle rhythmic and harmonious plans which have difficulty in staying stone-faced.

Like any good EM album, black winds blow and murmur on the desert intro of the title-track. It's an obligatory preamble in order to wake up the first chords of a heavy sequencer which makes vacillate its harmonic axis with strength in a rhythmic pattern as heavy than zigzagging. A soft filet of a harmonious synth spreads a spectral melody which floats such as some digital incense on a rhythm which stores another line of sequences whose circular movement is flooded by the arrival of the resonant keyboard riffs. Heavy and undulatory, the rhythm of Boards of Stringana offers two contradictory themes with a line finely jerked which borders a furtive movement where each step seems precarious, adopting so a melodious approach of which the evasive reflections are its own mirror while that the atmospheres always stay of an astral cloudiness. These structures and these movements of sequences with perpetual movements are the strength of this last opus from the Italian synthman. If the title-track divides its rhythm, such as the serpents on the head of Medusa, in other rhythmic segments, the same goes for tracks as Lost in the Tunnel, and its approach of passionate rodeo which bursts in a powerful maelstrom of sequences, and the very somber Wavetable Dreams which charms with its Arabian harmonies. After a storm of hollow winds, Elektro Scape moves on a dislocated rhythm with sequences in the lively oscillations. Centered on this rhythmic structure, the track is overhung by a delicate line of synth and its confused harmonies while that the electronic percussions cut a curter, more nervous rhythm which brushes the robotics paces of Kraftwerk. Another tempest, this time of gurgling and of mystic thunders rolling in a psybient universe, introduced a second more cheerful and clearly more harmonious part with synths which sing some catchy electronic hymns.

The psybient atmospheres add a depth of unusual cloudiness on this last opus from the Italian synthesist. On Diamonds in the Sky they cover a delicate electronic ballad which espouses the lascivious undulation of a bass line of which the chords are drummed in the sparklings of a line of sequences and of its ions jumping into the circle of their echoes. Nervous jingles accompany this oniric procession which dresses in a cloud of Mellotron mist and threatening black reverberations, while sequences subdivide their shadows by skipping fervently in the shades of their circles. Quantum Reality offers a heavy intro made up by a somber ambience of despair where blow the black angels on embryonic movements. The rhythmic structure pierces these intense winds after more than two minutes of cosmic storm, offering a rhythm which cavorts of its bass pulsations and of its twinkling sequences before of calcify in a minimalist approaches which smothers under these winds and mists of Orion and these breaths lost by a synth which also frees brief and harmonious solos. Fed by impulsive keys which skip on the spot, Pulse my Head offers a rhythmic ride under a sky slain by resounding clouds. The sequences are both dark and limpid. They skip and jump side by side, respecting their forms and their colors in an electronic painting more than sombre. It will not be the Same as Before ends the album with a nice lunar ballad. The rhythm beats with the poetic sweetness of its sequences and percussions which tumble down such as a rhythmic carpet under the harmonies of a synth, clearly more visible here than somewhere else on this last album of Alluste, of which the dreamy solos lead us to the last black breath of this album.

Working inside his rhythmic parameters which boil of remarkably similar structures, BOARDS OF STRINGANA becomes an intense monument of hypnotic movements forged in sequences which divide its rhythms and draw its harmonies in a much darker musical pattern of what Alluste has offered in the past. A bit of more synths is missing here and there, but on the other hand the sequencing is wild and juicy.

Sylvain Lupari (April 11th, 2013) ***¼**

Available at Alluste Bandcamp

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