Daniele Brusaschetto & Benny Braaten - db9 [Afe Records - 2009]The pieces are all here; how come they didn’t come together? I couldn’t tell you. I listened to db9 twice, then three times, and each time I found myself simply unengaged by it. It’s the sort of experimental / ambient / noise-based music that one can find by the cartload now—technically well-presented, and with more than a little craft and awareness of composition … but somehow, just … bleah.
Divided into four movements of roughly eight to eleven minutes each, the album starts with what sounds like a tape of a political speech, which is soon reverberated and sliced up into a shimmering haze. A promising start, but the rest of the album doesn’t really expand on the promise of those first few minutes—it’s all just a dozen different kinds of fog that leave you with the impression of one great big undifferentiated lull. Feedback here, the occasional environmental sample there, and what sounds like amplifier crackle and mains hum turned into a thrumming, rolling bed. Too bad there’s nothing much happening on top of that bed; it just comes, occupies the ears for a while, and then leaves.
The most interesting moments are at the very beginnings or ends of tracks, like the aforementioned opening tape, or the repeated booming reverberation that ends the whole album. But beyond that I’m hard-pressed to say there’s anything here sticking around for more than once. Better luck next CD-R, I guess.Serdar Yegulalp