♫♪  Lorenzo Montanà - Phase IX

I have always had a lot of trouble falling asleep. As a result, I’ve spent much of my life listening to ambient music. When insomnia hits, sometimes even the most bare hint of a melody or a rhythm can be enough to keep one’s mind racing through the night. In my own experience, if you want the real, heavy come down, nothing does the trick quite like a vast, non-harmonic, beatless ambience.

Phase IX, the sixteenth (!) album by Italian composer Lorenzo Montanà, does not always get to this place, but when it does — wow, it really does. I know that comparing music to a sleeping aid can be read as a diss, but I promise that in this case I am trying to give a compliment to the artist. Montanà’s soundscapes are meticulous and often very beautiful, and in their best moments reach a sort of ideal version of ambient music, surrounding one’s mind with infinite room to breathe. In its striving for spiritual epiphany, Phase IX is also unreconstructed New Age music, and from its alien synth bubbles down to its hand drums (as well as the Papyrus font on the cover) is almost begging to be meditated to.

Whoever wrote this description on the album’s Bandcamp page, though, gets it much better than I could:

Phase IX is a solitary walk through forgotten paths, an ambient symphony where acoustic and electronic elements weld alchemical joints obtained through complex design. Indulging in a deep haze, darkness and perfumes between sacred and profane, this is dream-infused music traveling the synapses of the mind firing sonic beauty along the way.

Turn on the salt lamp and drift away, my friends.

Phase IX is available from Projekt Records. Stream the whole thing now.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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