Monday, January 31, 2011

Ritual - Solo Andata


Solo Andata
Desire Path Recordings.

SCQ Rating: 79%

What Solo Andata are doing, frankly, no one else is. That’s apparent as early as their LP Ritual’s first track, a slow-burning surge of buzzing, chirping, and whirling which approximates how we’d all hear nature if we lay drugged-up and motionless in a forest. More than a mesmerizing exercise in organic drone, ‘Aggregate’ speaks through our internal understanding of nature, the groundwork of likelihoods and curiosities we’ve nurtured since childhood, and reinforces them over any disciplines we as listeners might pride ourselves on – steadfast against those who’d refer to Ritual as tedious noise.

In other words, Ritual takes us beyond the argument of electronics trying to be “warm” as opposed to “cold” and into aural space positively dripping with characteristics. It isn’t just the vague liquid-y effects that make ‘Myrmecia’ so foreboding, but that its miniscule streams surfacing through soiled cracks are met by tones that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a convincing thriller score. Even if Solo Andata are wielding loose structures at their suspenseful prime, those moments arrive comprised of natural dimensions; no differently than water droplets for percussion, ‘Myrmecia’’s creepy high-registering synths are mistakable for distant, possibly pitch-shifted crickets.

Since the creation of Ritual, without many obvious instrumental tell-tales to speak of, is clearly beyond my technical comprehension, the intentions of this review really cater to what I’d prefer to emphasize in the first place: Solo Andata’s half-formed but articulate universe, how it envelops and how adjectives can be worth just as much as nouns. When ‘Incantare’ unfolds into a twenty-minute dreamscape, replete with a variety of echoed sounds that stitch together a moving, ever-changing environment, the listener couldn’t care less how this illusion was practically designed and constructed.

Such is reflective about Ritual and all good ambient records, for that matter; they blindfold and let you grapple for progressions or aural signposts to find your way and, at the best of times, like the disembodied hands swimming in textures, we submit ourselves to its course.

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