Silence and electro-acoustic noise are the main components in the three suites of experimental music by the Italian Unidentified Sound Object (aka U.S.O. Project). Packed in artwork depicting the charcoal remains of a post-apocalyptic city lies a one hour and one minute audio tour by Matteo Milani and Federico Placidi. Their shared passion in the collaborative strength of audio and video inspired them to paint a soundtrack on Selfish’s cinematic compositions. The lateral working method reminds of the premise applied in the Qatsi Trilogy, only with the difference that the U.S.O. Project’s effort lean more toward John Cage’s infamous 4:33 approach.
Silence is the dominating presence in the opening suite of the release, and although there is a distinct absence of sound at times, inspiration was drawn from the avant-garde technique of worldizing – recording and re-recording samples in various surroundings while tweaking the setting of speakers and microphones – which results in a complex, three-dimensional canvas. The latent presence of silence stretches out as a vast plain, evolving to the blunted ambient that haunts the transition of the opening compositions. Draped over the audible nothingness are layers of sound-constructions sketching the warped outlines of the gradually developing narrative and its accompanying sonic scenery.
Once the audio tour enters the suburbs of Inharmonicity via the tones of “Invisible Words”, the noise component’s parameter starts to display spastic shifts in its pattern. Screeching feedback and strokes of distorted noise break through cracks of the eroding city walls, battering the listener’s ears. The rampaging assault of crushed magnetic pulses will try to force you to shorten your visit in this crumbling city. Near the closing of the main suite, an escape route from the sonic violence is found. In a maze of reverb-filled chambers, the omnipresent battering noise is muffled and offers a well-deserved breather while the audio tour steadily eases into its closing movement.
As the trip through Inharmonicity comes to an end, the distinct presence of glitching noise suddenly forces itself to the forefront, like a noise-accumulating whirlwind on a clear sky, until nothing remains besides a massive, pulsating wall of sound. The bone-crushing, distorted layers filled with shapeshifting samples disappear as suddenly as they arose. All that remains are the aftershocks in the form of distant, resonating soundscapes.
The release offers a high contrast between types of minimal explorations – featuring both the smallest of glitches and ear-battering droning noise, challenging the listener. The narrative properties of Inharmonicity each have their appropriate position in an enjoyable, complex electro-acoustic massage. THE SILENT BALLET
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