“Samenreis”, literally ‘together travel’, is a 5-track, 21-minute mini-album that takes environmental, natural and acoustic recordings and treats them extensively to the point where they feel completely artificial. It was recorded in the anechoic chamber of the HKU in Utrecht to complete the artifice. The duo of Davide Palmentiero and Giuseppe Pisano have then layered on a smattering of melody and guitar. The result is a small pack of what feels like broody digital electronica, where only the lightest natural textures drift through.
“Lorentzweg” is the centrepiece, a six-minute unfolding Russian doll of sonic adventure that rotates through several different levels of tension, almost an audio illusion that constantly feels like it’s rising yet never arrives, save for the sudden and very overt drop-and-return in the centre of the guitar section. It somehow manages to travel all the way from ambient to Americana then back again without going fast, which is no mean feat.
The other tracks are quite diverse, but generally quite sketch-like in nature. “Hollandische Rading” is principally a series of analogue pulses that harks back to early electronic music, before “Oudegracht” brings the twangy guitar back melodramatically for a rumbling, evil-edged piece of road movie music that feels like it’s been pulled straight from some Scandi noir. “Schiphol” ups the drone factor, switching and cutting between a series of different rumbles like a twisted travelogue.
It’s a curious work, and unexpectedly compact, at EP-length, containing plenty of elements and layers that could easily have been explored for longer.