Giulio Aldinucci - Real [Karlrecords - 2022]
The Real is something we can never get to, if you believe in its theorization in psychoanalysis, for it only makes an appearance through other forms in the world that we can see or imagine – the Real requires filtering, otherwise it escapes us altogether. The synthesizer is essentially filter, so are recording devices, which are themselves not anything realer than anything else, but their mechanisms manage to mimic the slippery structure of the Real. In the field of sonic production, the Real is somehow "realer" than it might be in images or objects, for it offers direct access to the materiality of sound that couples a production to its playback, bringing making and hearing into a smooth continuum with one another. I have no idea if Giulio Aldinucci thought of this for his latest release, Real, but the results are nevertheless proof of the mystery, complexity, and elusiveness of synthetic music and its relation to something "real".
It's no linguistic coincidence that the concept of temperament is one that means both an individual's disposition and the technical training of an instrument to produce frequencies in a given key. Aldinucci's music is laden with temperament, of both kinds, with a swathe as wide as the emotional spectrum itself. Like the Real, this is only achieved through careful attention to the production of individual signals and their continuity with other signals, and so on: temperament is the Real of ambient music, appearing but never achieving a form that we can isolate or grasp, for we are its filter. Aldinucci maintains a cunning mastery over the tools for the production of mood – synths and field recordings – in particular its temporal unfolding through a selection of compositions that move from the spacey bliss of "Come In Un Respire" to the obdurate fullness of "Hyperobject A". The subtlety of Aldinucci's shifts are remarkable, verging at times on manipulation. One does not so much hear Real as notice its effects, how we begin to dwell in its tempo and acoustic shapes. This sounds like a bunch of esoteric hogwash, but I would submit that Real makes the ephemerality of temperament and mood as concrete as anything I've heard in quite a while. I am deeply suspicious of effective writing, but I challenge anyone who gives Real the time it deserves to not be overtaken by something that many of us would otherwise prefer to ignore.
For fans of well-tuned ambient music, and for others, who would rather leave that emotional elephant standing in the room, best of luck to you!. To dip in for yourself Colin Lang