Quentin Tolimieri - Monochromes [Elsewhere Music - 2022]
Monochromes is a piano-based release that managers to bring together felt-if- at times angular beauty, with creative often textured playing. It’s a three-CD set, which presents us with fifteen tracks that wonderfully and most effectively move between the emotional and inventive.
The release comes presented in a six-panel mini gatefold- this features on its front cover three hazed/ blurred photos set against a black backdrop with minimal white texts. Inside, along with the three discs we a four-page inlay, which discusses the pieces and the concepts behind them. The release can be purchased directly from Elsewhere Music here- which I highly recommend, as all small labels need our support, and this is a pretty damn great release.
Quentin Tolimieri is a Berlin-based composer and pianist. He has seemingly been active since around the year 2016- with to date three full-length albums, and three collaborative albums to his name. The fifteen tracks featured here date from between 2017 and 2021.
The album’s first CD opens with the forlornly spaced and gentle reverb bound “Monochromes 1” where Mr Tolimieri traces out a fragile series of notes, which both hint at sweet music box melody and sly angularity. As we move on through the first disc we come to constantly tolling and bounding chug of “Monochromes 3” which finds taut lows mixing with hammering mids. Playing out the first disc we the have felt-yet-tight noted tinkling of “Monochromes 6” which managers to feel both starkly emotional, yet at times angularly busy.
Moving onto the second CD, we have the fixing bounding tension of “Monochrome 8” which keeps sets on its taught-yet-compelling repetition for nearing thirty-six minutes. We have the lulling note cascade and glum flurries of “Monochrome 9”. With this second disc playing out with the ethnic plucking ‘n’ cascading prepared piano wonderful-ness of “Monochrome 10”.
On the final disc, we move from the sparse-yet-felt high-pitched darts of “Monochrome 11”. There’s the chiming and ringing stark-ness meets plodding melody of “Monochrome 12”. With the disc and the album playing out with eerier pluck, knock, and hauntedly dart of “Monochrome 15”.
It's rare you find a piano-based album that is both emotionally impactful, yet at the same time inventive and creative but that is exactly what Monochromes is. Simply put one of the most impactful, rewarding, and re-playable piano-based albums I’ve heard in a very long time. Without a doubt one of 2022’s highlights, and to be future classic of felt-yet-creative playingRoger Batty