Tip! Milanese sound artist Alberto Boccardi explores eerie electro-acoustic interstices reflecting his time spent in Cairo, and move back home to Italy, for Room 40. ‘Petra’ unpackages the artist’s mind in quiet, spectral designs after spending five years in the humid swelter and febrility of the Egyptian capital. Recording in a Milan studio he set up years before, Boccardi embraces silence after so long without, prizing his studio’s relative familiarity and controlled settings as a space to ruminate on his thoughts on Cairo from a distance. Ideas on subtraction were key to the process, informing the recording’s sculptural dynamic and slow breathing, quietly transient nature, with the presence of vocals by Cinzia De Lorenzi, a dancer/choreographer, and long time collaborator, lending a more curious spirit to proceedings.
Boccardi’s sound is full of shadowy inference and barely-there tones eked from a very minimalist palette. Cinthia’s vocals are credited on three of the five works, emerging from their strange fissures and folds in a range of processed whispers and purrs, but we can identify them on most if not all of the tracks, and most explicit on those not credited to her. For most direct taste of what to expect, we advise skipping to the sore thumb of ‘Silice’, where Cinthia’s tongue-tip phonemes introduce the album’s strange spatialisation and melted dub chords a la Perila, before getting into its more minimalist delicacies, from he ASMR-tactile purrs of ‘Arenaria 1’, thru the eerie nocturne ‘La Testa Cade A Piombo’, and groggy hypnagogic traction of ‘Una Variopinta Immagine Divisa’.
RIYL Perila, Annea Lockwood, Félicia Atkinson.