Disappearing In A Mirror: a series of soundscapes that could have said so much more

Giulio Aldinucci, Disappearing In A Mirror, Germany, Karlrecords, KR055 CD (2018)

Sound artist Giulio Aldinucci comes to my attention with quite a lot of past history – “Disappearing In a Mirror” is his second solo effort for Karlrecords – that includes other solo albums, collaborations with other soundscape and experimental music artists and projects, so my expectations are fairly high that this album at least will score well in technical detail. Using electronic tone and drone, and taking as his theme the issue of identity in a world where change, reinvention and dissolution of certainties are the only constants, Aldinucci crafts short pieces that have great immediacy and which bring to mind fragments of a giant universe at once known yet mysterious, and which only lasts as long as the tracks themselves last. Once each piece stops, something goes forever.

The music can be quite fragile, the mood is overwhelmingly sad and wistful – and yet, I feel the album could have been so much more than what it actually is. The tracks explore melodic territory that has been trodden many times by others past and present. There is no sense that the artist is really pushing his instruments, the range of sounds, textures and moods they produce, and above all the subject matter of the album to their utmost. Each track has a static quality and while each invites the listener to bask in its moods and soundscapes, the time spent there is short – no track is longer than 9 minutes – and any feeling of having been transported to different dimensions lasts very fleetingly. The overall result is an album that skates close to monotony on most tracks.

I guess it’s not really my place to say how this recording could be better but my feeling is that if all the separate tracks had blended into one long tapestry of sound in one track or a series of linked tracks, the album would have achieved its goal of exploring and breaking down the concept of identity.

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