Alessandro Cortini - Forse 3 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Alessandro Cortini - Forse 3

by paul_guyet Rating:7 Release Date:2015-03-24

Don't let the purple vinyl fool you, this album does not contain Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, How to destroy angels, SONOIO) covering Prince on a Buchla music easel*.

I was worried this might just be cast-offs, leftovers from Forse 1 and Forse 2, but Cortini still has places to take us: tumultuous starfields, deep caverns, and to witness the coronation of unfathomable cosmic entities. 
 
Side A
Conta (Counts)**
Soft, 8-bit future, which builds and blurs and blots itself out.
 
Rimasta (Remained)
Jagged, hissing throb at its start, then a surprisingly rapid pace emerges. The first time a BPM is really noticeable, maybe in the entire trilogy. Deep, soothing waves emerge from within, providing comfort in this place. Dissolves into pixelsteam.
 
Side B
Scappa (Get Away)
Low, cavernous thrum to start, then something almost like strings develops, great juxtaposition, a pure white light shining up from the darkness below. The darkness persists, trying to swallow the light while it still can, the dark gets more menacing, the light more hopeful. It's a beautiful, sorrowful, slow-motion battle/ballet.
 
Light prevails, than is muted by the surrounding darkness. They both swell, matching each other until they come together as some royal, elegant hybrid, rising over everything, an absolutely goddamn gorgeous tale, if you've the eyes and ears for it. A dissonant conclusion...
 
This track makes me yearn for more instruments or some soaring vocals but does a tremendous job of doing what it does, expressing what it does, without the use of them.
 
Scotta (Sheet)
Blippy future stuff, with a grinding pulse beneath. After a moment, things get chaotic, then smooth out, then distort again, then smooth out again.
Noises of various pitches come and go, but nothing really happens here, grating. It just gets exhausting eventually.
 
Side C
Senza Aria (Without Air)
Something light and whimsical about this, delicate. Yet another example of Cortini's warmth and humanity shining through his machines. A human, beating heart, powering metal lungs/jaws. I love the way this blossoms, the light descends and brings the lower sections into the celebration, it's almost a counterpoint to 'Scappa'.
 
Some golden tones ring out towards the end, unifying high and low, almost a coda. Everything shimmers out over the horizon. Light doesn't fully fade for quite some time... actually starts to get kind of annoying, to be frank.*** Following up a sumptuous meal with an ant-covered candy bar.
 
Wishing for digital version right about now... Straight up piercing shriek at the end (at least I hope it's the end). Feels like a "fuck you" from Cortini. This could have been three minutes shorter and fantastic. Good name, because, by the end, I felt like I was being strangled.
 
Retta (Straight Line)
After a few uninteresting moments, the melody (very old and heroic) makes itself heard. 'Senza Aria' is still lingering and has made me impatient, not a great place to be with any of Cortini's Forse albums. This isn't jogging music.
 
The playful melody continues to strengthen like sunlight through stained glass. Ends feeling palatial and spacious.
 
Side D
Macchia (Stain)
Wow, like stepping through a doorway and walking right into some sort of cosmic cataclysm. Unlike anything else in the Forse trilogy. The title might refer to something huge and ageless leaking through and tainting multiple realities, very troubling. And very, very big. The word 'leviathan' comes to mind. The listener is bearing witness to the passing of something incomprehensible, hence the omnipresent chaotic susurrus in the background. 
 
Ritorna (Returns)
Something cold and militaristic about this; an army, clad in black, searching some ruined dystopian landscape. There's no real melody here, just pulses of sick, distorted noise. In that sense, it's a bit like 'Scotta'. The ending gets bigger, bolder, but not much more interesting.
 
Bestia (Beast)
Thick, infected, techno-pus. Filthy to hear a machine make such a noise; unique to Forse. Would be at home on something by Aural Rage. As it stands, a far less monumental conclusion to the Forse trilogy than it deserves. Fantastic texture though. The sound of techno-organic poison.
 
Of the 29 tracks that make up the Forse trilogy, I'd say there are about 12 really fantastic, standout pieces among them, the rest, while still well-crafted and nuanced (for the most part) end up blurring together. But, for most musicians, it's difficult to do anything more than clumsily wield a Buchla music easel, Cortini utilizes it as a true sonic artist.
 
A quick note regarding formats: I'd recommend not picking up the vinyl unless you're a collector/completionist; the worlds Cortini takes you to shouldn't hiss and pop unless he deems it appropriate. If you must have the limited-edition clear, purple vinyl, head over to Important Records and get yours while they're still around.
 
There's also the less ostentatious (and less awesome) black vinyl for five dollars cheaper. If you prefer something a bit more portable than a record, the digital release is set for March 24 on iTunes.
 
* Although I'd pay upwards of a hundred dollars to hear the results.
 
** Not the same 'Conta' from Forse 2. I suppose Cortini ran out of two syllable Italian words...
 
*** Sometimes, I review as I listen to things for the first time, hence the rather drastic change in my tone. Just a heads up.

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