Alessandro Cortini - Sonno - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Alessandro Cortini - Sonno

by paul_guyet Rating:7.5 Release Date:2014-07-14

I identify Alessandro Cortini as the sonic equivalent of Neil Gaiman's Dream; his creations run the gamut from soothing and beautiful to amniotic and alien, to frigid and terrifying to pure chaos. To the uninitiated, he is the multi instrumentalist who has worked with Nine Inch Nails since the mid-2000s, both in the studio and on stage, as well as on Trent Reznor's recent side project, How to Destroy Angels. He's also been known as modwheelmoodblindoldfreakSONOIO and, most recently, by his own name, on Forse 1 (review!) and Forse 2 (review!!!), with the third installment coming later this year*.

So what the fuck does this sound like already? The key difference between the first two Forse albums and Sonno is how dusty it sounds. Things feel blurred and frayed, rusty and even unsafe at times.

Underneath the decay, the music ranges from sounding quite a bit like Forse, as on 'Passatempo' (which is sincere and earnest, replete with Cortini’s inherent warmth) and 'Voltaggio Solitario' - though the latter is, maybe, Forse heard through an infected ear - to sounding like Nine Inch Nails, namely 'Dell’influenza', which could find a place on 2008's Ghosts I-IV and 'Rovine"' which shares shadows with Broken's 'Help Me I Am in Hell', its cold, electronic sibling.

Then, there's the sound of a lake with objects being dropped into it from great heights  ('Rinascimento'), an aural tour of the ocean's floor ('Variabile'), and a whole lot more texture than one might be comfortable with. To be honest, after 'E Del Controllo', the longest and least dynamic track on Sonno, it was tough to get back into the album, but, luckily, that one is close to the end and doesn't do too much to interfere with the experience as a whole.

Sonno could serve as ambient background music, a sleep aid** or, if you were to sit with it and truly focus on what Cortini has made, something deeper and more intricate; something bright, broken, menacing, soft, and accepting, all at once. 
This guy really knows what he's doing.

* All three composed, live, on a Buchla music easel.

** Sonno is Italian for 'sleep'.

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