Monday, January 12, 2015

FIRST IMPRESSION: Andrea Belfi - Natura Morta

If music has the ability to be both simultaneously menacing and beautiful, Andrea Belfi’s “Natura Morta” has the formula down pat.  Separated into 6 “movements” that bend and fold into one another, the Italian drummer displays an aptitude for the unsettling.  Piercing, treated guitars and synths ride atop the clattering percussion and tension is built and released through repetition.  There is little of the melody that Belfi displays with the Mike Watt-led il Sogno del Marinaio, and for a drummer the album relies less on his percussion than you would think….which is a GOOD thing!  This is a mood piece, and the album is reminiscent of composer William Basinski or some of the more challenging instrumental works of Mike Patton -  all creaks, squeals, buzzes and darkened rumbles.  The songs can be claustrophobic at times (probably intentionally so), so when Belfi’s cymbals suddenly crash halfway through “forme creano orgetti” it is welcome light piercing through the clouds.  “Natura Morta” is not the easiest listen, but it is a formidable work and a welcome insight into an exciting composer.  

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