Aglaia "Hymns" CDr
Aglaia, an Italian ambient duo extraordinaire, leaded by composer virtuoso Gino Fioravanti and backed by editing mastermind Gianluigi Toso, has released this CDr album as a special item on Stefano Musso's Hic Sunt Leones label in December 2013. The album was recorded between August 2010 and September 2011. As usual for all these releases, each CDr is packaged in a 6-panel digipak, hand-made by Sara Luciani, and it's limited to 99 copies. So far, 8 various titles were released this way, among them also Aglaia's live recording "Out Of The Way" CDr from February 2012. Other artists or collaborations featured in these art editions involve Robert Davies, Nacht Plank, Luciano Daini, Zeit, Alio Die & Zeit and Memory Geist. "Hymns" visual credits include Lu (photography) and Hic Sunt Leones (artwork). Thus the visual bliss is immediately guaranteed, while the aural paradise is entered shortly.
The album unfolds with "The Flow Of Time", a gorgeously hypnotic dreamscape hazed by intangible tinkles and guarded by peculiarly sounding processed voices. These voices have strongly elusive quality, I am unable to understand to them, somewhere between organic sci-fi and phantasmal perplexity, but the overall feel of this soundsculpture is incredibly distinguishing and stunningly mindscaping, otherworldly nuanced, yet fascinatingly euphonious and high-spirited. Timeless soundmagic of Aglaia is back!!! "Nymphs" invade enthralling sunlight forest sceneries, catchy rumbles float throughout along with blossoming traceries and earmarking mesmeric euphoria that can be only Aglaia. And all exquisitely counterpointed with an array of piercing and ear-tickling voice fragments. Join this journey, a truly transcendental listening experience awaits here!!! "Full Moon Lepidopter", with 10 minutes the longest "Hymn", takes the voice sculpting into a newer level, where it becomes a new instrument and an essential complement for spirally undulating nocturnal symphony. "Memorabilia" shifts through soothingly floating transitions into graciously expansive realms augmented by ethereal voice relics. A deeply reminiscent and contemplative walk!!! "Morning Star" remains on the path, when painting subtly repetitive helixes, again mesmerizingly embracing. "Owl Light" is carried by magnificently mind-bending voices and spellbindingly oscillating drone expansions. The next piece, "Holy Relics", unveils with absolutely warm and tranquilly evocative, lushly organic texture. Shimmeringly enigmatic, yet balmily scenic!!! "Pranava" ceases the album with deeply subterranean ride melting insistent drone hums with oddly apparitional voices and groans. Astoundingly weird, mind-blowing conclusion!!!
Both protagonists of Aglaia make sure on "Hymns" to take the listener a way beyond the borders of his/her most bizarre expectations. But what it's the most exceptional on these adventures, the journey will always be enough earthy and always filled with fabulous insignias of these Italian sound sorcerers. And now on "Hymns" with the bonus voice treatments that transport Aglaia even further. Magnifico, Gino & Gianluigi, bravo to all other contributors!!! Don't know Aglaia yet? Keep in mind, there is no excuse for that!!!
Richard Gürtler (Nov 09, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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