THIRSTY LEAVES MUSIC 001 CD-R (2014)
Shanyio appears to be a solo project of Alexandru Hegyesi, augmented here and there on this record by Thomas Almadi, Loalue, Xu and Călin Torsan, all of whom are new names to me. I have gleaned that Loalue is an alias for Guido Lusetti, an Italian remixer from Reggio Nell’Emilia in Italy, Xu is the solo project of Nicola Fornasari who has had various releases on labels such as Cathedral Transmissions and Triple Moon. Călin Torsan appears to be a writer, predominantly.
The first track, ‘Deep Water’, reminds me of midday straw floors in canvas tents at outdoor music festivals in the 90s (although I expect it is much the same today) with its blorps and bleeps. There is a pulsing monosynth at the back of the mix; which perhaps denotes the involvement of someone with an interest in Hawkwind. The remaining tracks move away from this opening vibe, featuring interesting combinations of acoustic instruments played in traditional sense and more improvisational approaches. Benign, pretty, much less strident. The third piece, ‘Towards Silence’, is particularly laid back with psyche-baroque plucked melodies surrounded by a haze of indistinct percussion, kantele, (which is from the dulcimer family of instruments), and synthesiser. Nothing raises its hand in anger here so should leave the purchaser confident that there will be no sudden, unpleasant surprises to interrupt their next Reiki session.
The fourth track, ‘Sliding The Voice Of An Angel’, is like hearing fragments of windchimes from a neighbour’s garden, with a pixelated train in the background, whilst the fifth and final piece is an alternate version of ‘Towards Silence’, which showcases Romanian clarinettist Călin Torsan’s playing. As I said earlier, I believe Torsan is best known as a writer, as there seems to be more about his books than his music on the web, as far as I could find, but the album is given a distinct lift by his presence.
Shaniyo has been lucky enough to have previous work released on Roger Linney’s prodigious Reverb Worship label where they have rubbed shoulders with Makoto Kawabata, LSD March, Eli Keszler and Gnod among others, although I think it’s fair to say that they don’t share much in the way of sonic characteristics with any of those groups.
[Update 6th April 2016: first paragraph edited by Ed Pinsent in the light of comment received from Loalue.]