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Alio Die - Alio Die & Lorenzo Montana: Holographic Codex CD (album) cover


Alio Die


Progressive Electronic

4.22 | 34 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars The start of 2015 already delivers a standout progressive/electronic release in the form of `Holographic Codex', a collaboration between two very different Italian musicians, the expansive drone artist Alio Die and soundtrack composer and producer Lorenzo Montaną. The two have literally dozens of previous albums and productions between them, and here they offer a selection of constantly evolving, deeply immersive ambient sounds, delivering a surreal mix of eerie instrumental soundscapes balanced with hypnotic wordless vocal drones and strong ethnic flavours. Despite moments of emotional beauty, much of the material is extremely confronting with an overwhelming disorientating atmosphere, frequently sharing the same kind of exploratory environments of the more mellow Krautrock albums. Both of these artists are in perfect unison here, offering a truly intimate and exotic journey.

The mysterious yet pretty opener `Muns de Etrah' brings a false sense of security and contentment, being a warmer drifting synth drone with a light pleasing skittering beat over the top. The album then instantly takes a gloomier turn. A despondent tormented treated male cry wails over ghostly piano throughout `Hydra e Vers', instantly comparable to the second `Voices of Syn' side of German electronic pioneer Klaus Schulze's dark divisive 1974 masterpiece `Blackdance'. `Silent Rumon' grafts that same voice to slowly unfolding droning ethnic instrumentation with a brooding cinematic quality, the dusty heavy mood similar to Electric Orange's `Volume 10' from 2014. Crystalline shards and clockwork-like thickness levitates before and quickly envelopes the listener throughout `Avkil', and `Egetora' is a slow-motion droning wavering sustained hum around a spectral siren cry.

The fifteen minute `Cinta della Brecia Divina' is a storm of swirling winds inhaling and exhaling like the breath of God, jangling zither chimes, chirping insect ambience and unfolding synth and organ washes over delicate fizzing pulsing beats like `Timewind'-era Klaus Schulze. This mix of sandy ethnic Krautrock flavours and sparse electronics also calls to mind the first two Agitation Free albums. `Eternal Wisdom' then closes the work with impossibly beautiful operatic voices submerged in ebbing ethereal spirals, the very definition of pristine serenity and spiritual bliss.

Only barely three weeks into 2015, and we've already seen outstanding (and all completely different) ambient releases in the form of Steve Roach's `Invisible', Ishq's `Autumn Light/Winter Light' and Altus' `The Time Collection', and now most impressive of all is this one. Alio Die and Lorenzo Montaną's album is for electronic (and Krautrock) listeners who don't like simple, pretty ambient music, instead preferring challenging, expansive and thought-provoking compositions, the sort of music that completely alters the environment around you. `Holographic Codex' is deeply meditative, hypnotic and already utterly timeless, making it one of the first essential progressive music related releases of 2015.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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