Music Reviews

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Artist: Tropic of Coldness (@)
Title: Maps of reason
Format: LP
Label: KrysaliSound (@)
Rated: *****
Francis M Gri, appreciated sound artist and brave founder of KrysaliSound, reached a very important goal since the first bricks of his creation in 2010, the first release on vinyl, and he cannot but do a careful choice. He decided to start by inflating the entrancing breathes of Tropic of Coldness, the bicephalous project that Giovanni La Placa (guitarist, voice and sampler player in the experimental band Fuji Apple Worship) and David Gutman (already active in the indipendent Brussels scene, where he was mostly known for his electro/experimental band Drawing Virtual Gardens) conceived after their meeting in Brussels in the autumn of 2011. Described by Francis as "a mature work of rare sensitivity that manages to combine all the nuances of the soul as points of a map that every human being hides inside", this sonic pearl immediately grabs listeners by wrapping lukewarm synths, whose dazzling light get eclipsed by a feeble guitar-driven melody in the initial "The beauty and the meaning", a track whose title seems to suggest the shrilling contrast between a phenomenon whose appearance partially hides a hint of a forthcoming decay (like the contrast between the beauty of a butterfly and the awareness that its beauty has a short life). A sense of meaning gets evoked by the title track "Maps of reason", where a field recording evokes a walk in the wood, where the initially cold and simple tones get warmer and warmer, while the guitar gradually strays onto the stylistic shores of classic ambient since its final harmonic rift. The emotional framework of the following "The Loss of empathy" is really impossible to be framed (forgive the unconscious pun!), as it's an ocean of sonic waves, where the same wave could begin by evoking a feeling of peace before turning into something peaceless or uneasy, or where a concrete clearness could fade away into a vague sense of confusion. In spite of its more predictable dynamics, the last of the four tracks of this awesome album, titled "Diving for pearls", features a similarly harmonic dissonance, according to a sonic strategy which tries to balance and unify apparently opposed and contrasted emotions, belonging to the definition that the name of the project "Tropic of Coldness" seems to suggest.



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