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Ambience in Quick Succession

An album teaser from Italy-based Sōzu Project

Paolo Mascolini, who is based in Italy, records ambient electronic music as Sōzu Project. There is a new Sōzu album, Garden, due out this coming month, on April 4. In advance of the release, Mascolini posted a teaser track on his SoundCloud account. At six minutes in length, it contains samples of 10 different sources, presumably the 10 tracks of the full forthcoming album.

While “garden_teaser,” as it is titled, is clearly a sample menu of the full release, it is recommended as listening unto itself. Ambient music, especially in its nature-mimicking mode, free of overt beats and given to artful longueur, is something to get lost in, something that through sheer absence of evident footholds like melody and rhythm evades the full grip of attention and memory. Here, however, each track’s peaceful spaciousness is presented as a short snippet. In turn, the ear can not only focus on the individual elements, but compare the ambience in quick succession, each track represented by a roughly 33-second extract.

There is, at the opening, the sort of bird-dense field recording that the album’s title suggests. Later come a variety of materials that might feel overall samey or of a type in full length, but here are are firmly distinct. There are drones with lighter birdsong and glitchy chimes, sea-sawing white noise, backward masked guitar with insectoid vibrations, and other sonic treats, some darker than others as the tracks progress.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/sozu_proj. More from Sōzu Project at sozu-project.com and twitter.com/SOZUproject.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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