This sampler, subtitled "new ambient-electronic music from Italy", is the physical compendium to the excellent website Oltre il Suono, gathering several Italian underground projects and artists working in the fields of ambient (from dark to ethnic/ritual), experimental electronics and electroacoustic/concrete music. While the site has been constantly expanding, the cd-r, compiled by the trio Biasthon, features a selection of 11 artists, of whom I only knew Amon/Andrea Marutti. I guess that all tracks are exclusive/unreleased. Now, talking about the sounds, I really think it's hard to find such a well-assembled sampler. Music ranges from oppressive dark ambient (Amon, Maath, Nefelheim... ) to field recording manipulations and electroacoustic (Car, Logoplasm), from cosmic music (Regivar) to mesmerizing ethnic atmospheres (Ku), but these "tags" are often oversimplifications, since most artists seem to actually cross boundaries and opt for oblique approaches – see for example Anofele (who also collaborate with Car), Alessandro Fogar and Nimh (alias Giuseppe Verticchio, main responsible for Oltre il Suono, here offering a mix of live sounds from the streets of Teheran and abrasive analogue synth patterns). Throughout the whole compilations, emphasis is focused on pure sound experimentation, with almost no melody at all, except for a really brief hint at the end of Regivar's "Visioni" and the more "humane" approach of Ku – so expect gloomy atmospheres and often alien, disquieting sounds. A must if you're even remotely interested in deep listenings and aural experimentation, and a healthy portrait of Italian underground... Check this out and visit the site, where you can find lots of info about the artists, with sound clips provided. I hope a second volume of the cd will be compiled soon.