Licheni by Simon Balestrazzi & Nicola Quiriconi

Simon Balestrazzi & Nicola Quiriconi | Licheni
Azoth (CD/DL)

An incredibly intimate record from its initial moments, the two composers have created a minimal world of textural improvisations that are amplified like that of a macrolens. And that’s what you would need, exactly, to explore the world left behind by lichen, the algae/bacteria found on surfaces, often on trees. Fungus grows in stages, and in wondrous organic patterns, and they do a terrific job replicating the idea of the façade here. The toothy, rootsy snarl of the elements is compacted into their microsound vision.

The tiny gnarly groans and grunts are interspersed with aeration, with cutting metallic chords and other unexplained effects that writhe away the time. There’s a forlorn element within the scaling back of layers here while breath is slowly escaping. With a lot of external intricacies, eventually waves are added, at a slightly unnatural pace, creating an abrupt yet removed pattern. Listen closely as this becomes a bit of a shell game with vibration and hiss.

At times the ear is above, and below the delicate thin surface, almost cellular in structure, being punctured it throbs and cracks over time. Though perfectly audible it may be most effective while wearing a headset in that each tiny movement could be contained and captured. Licheni hits close to the nerve, gestating the senses awake, just so, and purring into oblivion.

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