AS | Untitled
New Italian research collective Whereiswave has released their second tape this year, and they are on to something with this Untitled singular piece by AS (Alessio Sangregorio). The coverart describes the work, but I’ll try an put in my two cents as this one seems to dither between a moshpit of highly manipulated noise, beats and field recordings.
I can’t seem to dig up much on the man behind the sounds though my inclination is that he is quite young, and creatively furtive, unaffected by genre lines whatsoever. The tape (edition of 50) starts off with a fidgety action, in repetition, that sounds like a coin being inserted into a novelty machine of some sort. While futzing with magnetic tapes this is the type of sound that anyone within the growing contemporary cassette culture revolution will be proud to run in their Panasonics.
Combined with a stirred distant drone, the tactile surface is further frazzled by microsounds that are stimulating and low-lyingly aggressive. A pensive brutalist sound, with flaps and crevices like a Rolodex spinning ’round. “AS revisits his artistic background based on use of collages and visual techniques as for sound expressions, defining the translation of a precise and empathic identity to different means and languages.” And this is brought further to light with the muffled Italian conversation, taken from a film (?), that’s inaudible amid the otherwise hollow industrial atmosphere.
In just under a half hour this chasm of abstract ambient drone takes several turns. The most dramatic at about eleven minutes in where a bent and pure white noise frequency runs on a simultaneous track alongside a low-range cleft tone filled with fiddles and a playful old-timey folk atmosphere. It’s a peculiar dichotomy, an acoustic carnival ride. The interim is all about the diminutive sound effects, edited syllabics and scored incidental actions. And after twenty minutes this tinny beat emerges within the unstructured drone vibration.
He plays old LPs, skipping through a pure pop trill, though it’s a deleterious setting. Even when a hip-hop beat somehow sneaks in he manages to elude the kitchen-sink effect and makes nonsense listenable. It may seem deluded to the casual listener – but I find it quite striking as a 20,000 foot surveillance-like perspective on our ever-changing cultural fabrics, all-too familiar through a virtual lens.