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Formentini, Luca: Subterraneans

Creepy, eerie, meditative, atmospheric, powerful...these are just some of the words that describe the latest CD from Italian experimental guitarist Luca Formentini. This is music that will haunt you, that will get under your skin, but in a good way. Comprised of 16 tracks, Subterraneans bristles with restrained energy, as if Formentini is just teasing the listener with moody sonic bursts of sounds. More so a collection of moods than songs, each track hits a different nerve, and elicits a different response from your senses. Take "If I Stop" as an example; Formentini's echoed wailings and restrained volume swells creates an ominous sense of dread, yet at the same time you get the feeling that his guitar passages are desperately trying to burst through the surface of some unseen barrier, and that there is hope of breaking through. Much of the music on Subterraneans has a similar feel, as the guitarist uses his instrument more to create resonant lines of sustained beauty than technical prowess. Take the soundscape works of Robert Fripp or Richard Pinhas, and have the soundscapes actually sound like a guitar, and that is kind of what you get here. Some neat backwards guitar washes permeate the droning "Digya", while "118" offers a vast aura of sonic sound that would appeal to fans of early Tangerine Dream. It's not until "Mother" that you really hear some "normal" guitar sounds, this piece being a earthy jazz cut where the guitarist sounds a bit like Eric Johnson.

If you are tired of all the shred maniacs, and want to hear some real experimental guitar work in what is normally a keyboard setting, check this CD out. It won't excite the hell out of you, but it will certainly help you explore parts of your mind that you may never have journeyed to before.

Track List
1) Hands Held as a Well (4:39)
2) Ring Mod (5:41)
3) If I Stop (4:26)
4) Digya (3:55)
5) Steam (2:07)
6) Su Me (5:50)
7) A Better Place (3:38)
8) The 15 (3:56)
9) One to Other (1:38)
10) 118 (7:36)
11) Mother (3:56)
12) Lost Alone (4:19)
13) Undercloud (4:11)
14) Wood (3:12)
15) Waterskin (3:53)
16) Gio's Lake (11:05)

Added: October 1st 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist's Website
Hits: 3718
Language: english

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