Torba | Musica Convenzionale
Edizioni Aaltra (CD)
Mauro Diciocia is Torba, and Musica Convenzionale is his eighth or ninth solo recording (but his first official CD release), give or take some collaborations along the way. It is also my personal introduction to the Italian sound-collagist’s work. Here he has produced a singular thirty-nine minute track that masks, meanders and otherwise manipulates a myriad of moods.
Things start with a squiggly noise, and what could easily be the field recording of giant dumptrucks moving heaps of garbage, soon transitioning with pitch and tones, high and low. It’s an avalanche of textural debris. Diciocia is wise to add the occasional quieter passage leading into a forlorn set of strings that become increasingly something of a dirge. And all this then is suctioned and submerged – and all these transitions, though successive, come fairly fast-paced. This collection of fragments are intensely woke.
There is nothing excessively noisy about this, though it’s all a bridge between our world and that of an industrial wasteland, a bridge that has exciting dips, and views, and pauses. The gurgling rumbles have a quenching sense of cleansing, like the muck is being washed away after an oil spill (under said bridge). Of course the bridge, yet, is metaphorical, the flow of parts and particles is for real. And this is all fashioned to blend between the organic and the inorganic, with the occasional voice and real short instrumentation. It has this intentional sense of separation, of leftover broken chords, rattles and effects tactics.
Only in certain junctures do you notice the use of actual tape reels or loops, these are masked by the otherwise stream of unconsciousness – and cavorting, flapping fabrics and other objects in the wind – yes, there seems to be a wind tunnel occurring randomly carrying anything in its wake to great effect. And the bellows of a foghorn blasts right on through this entire quagmire. If you are familiar with the work of Jason Forrest, this is similar in tactic, very different in outcome, and much more industrialized, manufactured, and sculpted. The quieting hiss-like passages really offer a striking counter-balance to the balls-to-the-walle approach on Musica Convenzionale, and there is no one single iota, nadda, that appears to be conventional within earshot.