303 + 606 = Punctum

Caterina Barbieri and Carlo Maria have their new ways with old tools.

Punctum is the duo of Caterina Barbieri and Carlo Maria working with old electronic equipment in new ways. On Remote Sensing they take their start with hallowed Roland boxes dating from the early 1980s, namely the TB-303 and the TR-606. Barbieri and Maria then pair and filter these artifacts with additional equipment. The result is heavily punctuated beats that echo with a fierce, vibrant, rhythmic intent.

On “Uncharted,” each foregrounded plunk is refracted with a sturdy, antiseptic repetition. That hard-rubbery effect is magnified on “Quick Botta,” where it provides a bottom level to an ever-rising sequence of 4/4 tribal efficiency, and on “Innocecocchito,” which is a quarter the speed and all the more chilly for it. On “Innocecocchito,” that same brittle decay is the sound of a hospital ward experienced through heavy sedation and half-dead fluorescent lights — which is to say, its glorious in its stubborn fragility.

Album available at caterinabarbieri.bandcamp.com. More from Barieri at caterinabarbieri.com and Maria at carlomaria.bandcamp.com. Image from ziguline.com.

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