Luca Gherardi "Cosmosis" 2xCDr
Italian soundsculptor Luca Gherardi, based in Bologna, is most likely better known under his STN09 moniker, a project focusing on dark ambient terrains bridged with some martial/industrial fragrances, but now he acts under his real name. I was pointed to his solo debut "Distant Earth" by my good Italian friend Toni (molte grazie!!!) shortly after its release in October 2012. This release clearly marks Luca Gherardi's move to quieter, nocturnal ambient landscapes, although few noisier dissonances are still active. His next work, entitled "Cosmosis", was released at the end of June 2013 by his own LKN Productions label as a double CDr album, packaged in elegant A5 4-panel sleeve with stunning cover images (layout & design by Pesten). "Cosmosis" exists in two limited editions, the normal, above mentioned edition was available in edition of 40 copies while the ultra limited edition features on the top of that extra space cards and black laminate envelope and was limited to 11 copies. Unfortunately, both editions were sold out even before I was able to publish these lines, but "Cosmosis" definitely deserves this attention!!! This double album is still available as download and who knows, maybe one day there will be some re-issue...
As already mentioned, the cover artwork, both outside and inside, looks absolutely gorgeous, simple, but strongly effective and immediately sets the atmosphere for the upcoming sonics. First extra points are awarded already!!! The liner notes include also dedication to Gianluigi Gasparetti. The first CD is entitled "The Dawn Of The Morning" and it unfolds with long form odyssey "Uranus", reaching 27 minutes in length. It moves through exquisitely colorful space elevations, ranging from quieter drifts with gentle embellishments to low drone hums, from ear-bending, tensive soundwalls, filled with drama and depth to monstrously elevating panoramic aural bliss at its most powerful and graceful!!! Certainly a jaw-dropping deep space soundscaping by Luca Gherardi, bravissimo!!! Shorter title track, "Cosmosis", is invaded by warmly tranquil drifts, relieving the tension, with heavenly voice-like guards safely riding atop. The next composition, "Memorie dall'Infinito Part 3 - Sea Of Tranquillity", as indicated by its title, remains in serenely surrounding sceneries. Field recordings of seashore waves with some children voices create a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere, which smoothly shifts into immense drone dimensions, hauntingly embracing each listener. Few gently thrown disruptions, maybe some kind of processed seagull calls, add nice flavor to this expanding and progressing movement. "Unknown Orbitation" delves deeply into mindscaping drone territory, enhanced by assorted space rumbles. Again journeying through various passages, from hypnotic to ear-tickling, from cyber-infused mystery to charmingly captivating. Shorter "Mornings..." blends early morning rain environments with gentle cyber sparkles and nostalgic modern classical ingredients. The closing part of disc one, "Memorie dall'Infinito Part 4 - Paradise?", enters into minimal terrains, which slowly expand into more spacious vistas, becoming more tranquil and sublime. This celestial grandness is later increased by well-placed astronaut transmissions. An ultimate sonic paradise!!! Wow, the first half of this 141-minute journey is absolutely thrilling and magnificent, this is deep space soundsculpting at its most transporting!!!
"Omega" is the title of second disc, which opens with "Omega I - Nebula", a 22-plus minutes long composition featuring rather lighter, dreamscaping washes. Diverse catchy dissonant clicks, electronic cicadas, distant hums or sharper, hissy fragments on the back carefully decorate the overall mood and emphasize its unbounded spaciousness and spellbinding gracefulness. Another outstanding interstellar odyssey, magnífico!!! Two shorter, transitional pieces follow, mysteriously droning "Apophis" and celestially flavored "Melancholia" bridged with abyssal rumbles and minimal modern classical piano part (guest piano by Marco Carlucci). 41-minute long composition "Omega II - From Antares To Canis Majoris..." closes this amazing journey with huge amount of adventurous transitions, where deep, humming drones interact with richly colorful disruptions. Slowly unfolding, expanding, floating, cascading and culminating into mammoth "all-inclusive" deep space drone wizardry. Hauntingly immersing and gigantically fascinating grand finale, which will please each outer space aficionado. Another must hear track!!!
Luca Gheradi did absolutely fantastic job with "Cosmosis", which safely drifts on the edge between ambient and dark ambient realms. "Cosmosis" showcases his huge talent and potential. It's a pity, the physical copies are not available anymore, because work like this deserves much bigger exposure, but we all know there is no justice in music industry. But don't give up, try to get in touch with Luca, maybe he has still available some top secret copies... Right now, as I am finishing these lines, Luca works on his next release, again described as night ambient music, 2-3 new tracks are in works, so make sure to stay tuned, I definitely will, because I am sure this Italian guy has a lot more to offer. To me, Luca Gherardi is one of the biggest revelations of 2013 and "Cosmosis" double album is a true sonic treasure from start to end!!!
Richard Gürtler (Aug 31, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)