Choke by Salis / Sanna / Pili

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Salis / Sanna / Pili
Choke (Plus Timbre; DL)

Since 2014 Greek net-based imprint Plus Timbre has been releasing experimental, improvisational music. On Choke the Italian duo of Giacomo Salis + Paolo Sanna work with Sardinian artist Stanislas Pili to form a percussive trio for the first time. The recording consists of four pieces numbered 1 through 4. At first they scrape metal and contort cymbals and other objects – creating a sound that mimics monkeys in cages, it’s mysterious and slightly disturbing. It’s a whirring, sawing sound that breaks with hollow silences. Together they form a factory sound, dragging and action-painting with metal objects/instruments. The first act ends in an echo-y drone that’s quite chilling.

Part two comes on like an unyielding wind, as they build layers of clang and thick whisps of suction and flowing force. It grows into a generous crescendo, with scratching, screetching all the way. Into a ripping sound that punctuates the piece with what sounds like bare open wires and a low rattling, like a creaking ship belly.

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This is a rocky ride, an uncertain collected chaos that could potentially go in any direction. The trio of talented percussionists perform as modern day fluxus acrobats on Choke. As the third part opens there’s hardly a break, if any. The all-out noise has been replaced with crunchy fodder and micro abrasions. It’s not quite a full ‘time-out’ – more of an inversion to the prior antics, and a nice break to the overall deep listening experience. It’s oh so quiet, like you turned off the tea kettle and it exudes it’s final breath of steam, only to end in what sound faintly like a car blinker. That is until a tuba-like sound emits like a dull alarm. Here their sound is a quirky off-brand experimental out jazz. After re-cranking the machine, a low hum and jangle like glass bottles on a washing machine in mid-rotation, they set out to to balance highs and lows with a master touch. Improvisation at it’s most peculiar and sensitive.

Finally a squawk emerges, made by scratching the underside with drumsticks perhaps, but sounding like the second coming of モスラ (Mothra). The tin din generated by three men sounds like a mile-long factory at full throttle. If music could raise the dead, these gents have braced us in their wake. As a unit they wrangle and sculpt a three-way noise palette like impressionist triplets with super powers. Their sound has form, a multi-directional disharmony, guts and style. This is likely a soundtrack for haunted houses, especially at the very end where weird howling seeps through the crevices as awkward silences put this to bed. Sleep in heavenly peace.

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