Sunday, July 19, 2020

Thomas DeLio - Selected Compositions (1991 - 2013) [Neuma Records]

Now back to academia with the second review for an album put on the circuit by Neuma Records as a part of their effort to release the entire back catalogue of compositions created by 1951-born composer and music theorist Thomas DeLio as a tribute and homage to a man who's been exploring experimental music and composition for more than 40 years now. Starting with the hyperminimalist sequence of "Belle Isle I-IV" which seems to embrace both elements of Clicks'n'Cuts as well as stripped down, skeletal Field Recordings of microtonal nature the entire longplayer consists of a total of 24 pieces, most of them sparse and spatial featuring extended periods of silence including the crystalline piano meets eruptive percussion piece "Transients / Images" whilst the 2011 tape rendering "...Transients" seems to employ a more tender approach to the composition even though some seemingly haunted, off kilter sonic events apply. In the tape piece "XXXIII - XXVII" pianos meet a harsh, high frequency DigitalNoize blast before the sonic narrative changes to be well trippy, psychedelic Space Ambient - think 70s sci-fi flics here... -, "As Though / Of" partly evokes memories of minimalist electronics crafted at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and other sonic laboratories of yore and probably has been put together using similar techniques, "z,rb" brings back more high frequency HarshNoize bursts whereas Paula Chipman's subsequent soprano interpretations take the listener into a realm of abstract opera and crystal clear vocal exercise whilst "Center / s" borders on haunted, ghostly and well otherworldly Ambient before the cut-up sci-fi collage "Aengus" reminds us of retrofuturistic future positivism somewhat prevalent in the 60s and 70s later throughout the albums course which is one for those diving deep into the realms of avantgarde, yet a difficult one as the vast amount of silence as an essential element in the individual compositions might make it hard to distinguish the single pieces from each other in an extended listening session even for those familiar with music coming from a highly academic context.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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