Attilio Novellino | A Conscious Effort
Midira Records (LP/DL)
Attilio Novellino is a sound artist from Italy who returns with a full length solo album after a whole six years. We can’t say he has been totally silent in this time span, his numerous collaboration works show quite intense activity and a certain attitude to generate a network around him, that is also reflected in the way A Conscious Effort is built.
Despite it being entirely conceived and composed by the Calabrian artist, the album features the presence of many other musicians who lend their skills and instruments to shape this new sound world. In the conception of this album Attilio really takes advantage of the support: the LP. Generating two sound continuums, one for each side of the record with no separation in-between the tracks, song names act as the titles for the chapters of one single book, one single flow. Altogether, both sides share an identity: they sound wide and deep, loud, overwhelmingly huge.
This maximalist drone mass still does not renounce to a certain degree of complexity both in the staking of vertical layers and in the interplay of the sound objects in-between the thick textural lines. This highly curated and elaborate, microscopic work of interferences, as carvings upon the surface of a precious gem, embroidered along the threads of his whole album, is what makes Attilio’s work stick out from the gigantic plethora of drone records we witness every year. Another element of great interest for me was the ability to step from more traditional electroacoustic moments to properly outlined post-rock sections. He demonstrates a great ductility and a certain ambition to reshape and emancipate a certain field of electronic music by taking new paths and, turning it into a more user-friendly experience that doesn’t totally cut away tonality, rhythm and melody.
In this sense I found particularly appealing the tracks “Perceptual Experience of the Body” and “Amigdala Poetry”, in Side B. Both these tracks are perfect examples of contamination between well-known and crystalized musical forms that Attilio is able to investigate further to reveal new possibilities and elements unthought of.