Luigi Archetti Februar

[Unit; 2005]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: avant garde, experimental electronica, abstract minimalism, noise improv
Others: Kevin Drumm, Sachiko M, Merzbow, Throbbing Gristle

Luigi Archetti's Februar is a heavily experimental and abstract work which is geared, without question, at those listeners who gravitate naturally toward the challenging and thoroughly non-traditional end of the experimental electronic spectrum. Atonal and amelodic, Februar is about texture rather than form; space rather than closure. Completely eschewing conventional song structure, these fourteen tracks feature passages that will by turns put you to sleep and get you evicted. A veritable mad scientist's laboratory of sound and chaos, Archetti's newest release is a construction utilizing a sonic palette that runs the gamut from deeply low-end bass rumbles to eardrum-shredding high-end squeals that will send your cat running under the bed.

Though at times Februar sounds like the aural equivalent of a Brothers Quay film gone horribly awry, the artist's intentions eventually become clear. Luigi Archetti is concerned with extremes””deconstructing and annihilating the boundaries that define music altogether. Like similar (if anyone is, in fact, similar to this) artists such as Merzbow and Kevin Drumm, Archetti makes music that defies categorization. The method to his madness is to deliberately confound the listener. As if to further emphasize this point, these nameless, expansive tracks almost threaten to challenge the maximum length of the compact disc format as well. Though it is likely to be derided as trash or senseless noise by some, meticulous analysis of Februar reveals it to be a recording of not inconsiderable nuance and character.

The implements used to create Februar have been rendered all but unrecognizable through the production, though Luigi Archetti is a guitarist by trade. Sine waves, damaged electronics, what may or may not be guitar feedback, hissing gas pipes””these are the instruments present on this symphony of sound. A snatch of something familiar might be caught, only to be supplanted by aural shape that is both hideous and grotesque. Like alien transmissions captured by the Very Large Array, Archetti's compositions are anchored together by space-dust and latent cosmic drone.

Februar's effectiveness is enhanced by how deftly Archetti is able to balance the interplay of opposing forces, juxtaposing the sinister with the beautiful. Though at times the record is extraordinarily dynamic, bordering on the excruciating, at others Archetti presents to us his docile side””delicate drones that wind their way like ribbons into the consciousness of the listener. Taken as a whole, Februar is a behemoth. It's a colossal, pulsating, and primordial organism that seems simultaneously teeming with life and twitching spasmodically with unnatural, unholy animation like a synthetic life-form created artificially in a lab. It is, at any rate, an ambitious recording that, under its jagged, icy surface, contains something vaguely warm and organic within.

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