Thursday 3 July 2014

Review: Colloquio – 'Io E L'Altro'

'Io E L'Altro'

Originally released in 1995 on audio cassette, Italian experimental/darkwave act Colloquio's fifth album finally sees the light of day thanks to a remastered CD release through Sad Sun Music. OK, so Colloquio isn't exactly a household name, which as a shame as this re-release is full of interesting and enjoyable experimental ambient music that should find a willing audience.

Sitting somewhere between the noire sci-fi atmospheres of the Vangelis soundtrack for Blade Runner, and the tranquil new-age electronica of Enigma, 'Io E L'Altro' is a low-fi but nonetheless ambitious album. For something released in 1995 and recorded on tape, it doesn't even sound particularly dated, yes there are some synth voices that sound rather cheap by today's standards, but other than that you'd be hard pressed to tell.

Tracks that are particularly impressive include 'Io E L'Altro (Prima Parte)', 'Lui D' Entro', 'Il Buon Ritorno', 'Sogno', and the bonus 'Nell Mie Stanze Mute', which despite their down tempo and tranquil construction, immediately grab your attention, especially when paired with the sinister spoken vocals.

The production is surprisingly good as well. It doesn't have that modern crisp sound to it, rather a warmer analogue atmosphere, which is quite pleasant, but still sounds like a well produced demo when stacked up against newer releases.

'Io E L'Altro' is an album that on paper doesn't really seem to offer much, but once you put it on it delivers a lot. It is a captivating and mellow listen that aside from some of the synth sounds and production hasn't dated that badly. In fact it has piqued my interest in Colloquio's other cassette releases, and leading me to wonder if any more will get this treatment?

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