|CD REVIEW Matteo Uggeri / Luca Mauri / Francesco Giannico|
Band : Matteo Uggeri / Luca Mauri / Francesco Giannico
Central person in the above equation is Matteo Uggeri, Italian experimental musician who's worked with a variety of projects in different artistic attitudes. On the one side he's been in somewhat “traditional” band set-ups (including Der Einzige, Normality/ Edge, and Sparkle In Grey, the band he's played with on a regular basis in recent and current past), on the other hand he's regularly collaborated with other musicians (from the beginning he's had a recurring relation with New Wave/ Experimental outfit Norm), and then he's done remix and other works (for the likes of De Fabriek, Urkuma, Claudio Rocchetti, Ether, Punck, Cria Cuervos, Nicola Ratti, and OvO e Telepherique). Eventually, he also went solo (with collaboration from friends and collaborators) under the name of Hue for his 2006 release Un'estate Senza Pioggia (released on his own “label” Grey Sparkle).
The Pagetosalbum is apparently the concluding installment of the Between The Elements Quadrilogy, which began in 2007 as a collaboration between Uggeri and renowned Italian Industrial master Maurizio Bianchi (also known simply as MB). That same year already saw the release of the first two chapters, Nefelodhis and Erimos(released respectively through Cold Current and Digitalis Industries), and Kapnosfollowed in 2009, as a collective effort of Meerkat (another project Uggeri contributes to). Several other artist made contributions (also to the first albums), including Punck, Adriano Zanni, Fhievel, Andrea Marutti, Luca Sigurtà, Fabio Selvafiorita, Logoplasm, Sparkle In Grey, Andrea Ferraris, and Ics. For completeness' sake, Nefelodhiswas released under the name Maurizio Bianchi & Sparkle In Grey, Erimos under the name MB/ Hue/ Fhievel, and Kapnos(released as a collaboration between ctrl+alt+canc, Afe, Grey Sparkle and Nighthowks) under the simpler name of Meerkat. For Pagetos, Uggeri decided to collaborate with Francesco Giannico (an Ambient Electroacoustic Folk Music musician from Taranto, in the South of Italy, who's release material on several labels including AFE Records, Hysm, Akoustic Desease, Muertopop and Porter Records – instruments such as soft guitar and piano are a constant in his music) and Luca Mauri (got into Experimental Avant-Garde music in the late '90s with his solo projects 00 and looke; has (2000-2010) played guitar with improvisation quartet I/O, and currently plays guitar in the band Luminance Racio; released solo album Between Love And Hate under his own name on the Creative Sources label in 2009).
In essence, Pagetos is one 40:16 musical instrumental piece, but it's divided into 6 tracks (and, if indeed it is actually 6 sessions collaged together through a bridging layer, my appreciation will not lesser from the knowledge). Still, there's like a division between the three first tracks (“Ground Frost Breeding”, “Calaverna”, and “Icy Leaves”) and the latter ones (“Morning Frost”, “Cold Awake”, and “Melt”), in that the first half of the album has almost no guitar played in it, while the second part has frequent passages with twin guitar. Not surprisingly, the piano remains an important part of the music overall, and here and there you'll find nicely serene incursions of violin and saxophone/ trumpet sounds, as well as keyboards (organ?)/ synth additions and the occasional sampled sounds. All of which was done in a serenely calm mode (however working to a crescendo in the last track, both on guitar and other instruments...except the piano, which meanders on), and therefore the overall feel remains one of a slightly-layered Ambient in the first place. There's apparently also somewhat of a concept, or a red thread, going through the album, with the sound of someone stepping through the snow in the opening track, that stepping thing coming back later, and eventually the snow melting in the closing track.
You can listen to the two album opening tracks (and material off other projects of Uggeri's) at (www.) greysparkle.com. If you're even slightly into Ambient and/or instrumental, I strongly suggest you take a listen...perhaps even try to get yourself a copy of the album, because it's well worth it! Personally, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this kind of music...and occasionally also found and empty spot in my wallet after having “discovered” new artists into in the genre, so obviously for me this is an essential buy!