My review of "Terra Australis" CDr by Sōzuproject

Started by richardgurtler, September 14, 2019, 08:44:10 AM

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Sōzuproject "Terra Australis" CDr

I came across Sōzuproject quite unexpectedly during the first days of 2019, when browsing Bandcamp collection by a guy named Scott (thanks, man!!!), saw his brief review plus few pictures of "Terra Australis" CDr and I was immediately convinced something special will happen soon in my listening room. Yes, I never regretted this exploration!!! Paolo Mascolini, the enigmatic sole protagonist behind this Italian project, is releasing his dronescaping endeavors since 2013 and I still have no idea how could I miss such creative force. Please don't ask me! "Terra Australis" album was originally released February 2014, followed by a physical CDr edition on UK's label Vent Sounds in August 2014. The album I am reviewing is a remastered edition with a brand new packaging in a metal tin, limited to 15 hand-numbered and signed copies and released by the artist himself during December 2018. French amateur photographer Dominique Filippi gets credit for his photographs and field recordings.

"Terra Australis Nondum Cognita" (translating as "The Southern Land Not Yet Known"), the opening piece, which clocks over 7 and a half minutes mark, immediately dives into ultra expansive monochromatic solitudes, meticulously juxtaposed by balmy organic symphonies, warmly embracing panoramic quietudes and indistinctly flashing flickers. Gracefully euphonious! "Flight 901" was an Antarctic sightseeing flight and it serves as a narrative tribute to an aircraft accident known as the Mount Erebus disaster from November 28th 1979. Circling magnifying hums persistently coalesce with ethereal meridians and inconspicuously keep on crescendoing into disastrous vertexes. High-pitched turmoil abruptly erupts and evanesces into eternal silence... "Impermanence" carves infinitely oscillating serenities, masterfully reinforced by poignantly meandering desolations and ear-tickling flimsy traceries. Harmoniously enrapturing beauty! "Last Beats", at 5:28 the shortest track on "Terra Australis", bridges intangibly mesmerizing pulsations, evocatively enveloping introspections, glancing translucent fragments and glimmering gentle dissonances. "Katabatic Wind" gets over 12 and a half minutes and it quickly transports the listener into the ice-cold, vastly awe-inspiring drone terrains suddenly invaded by unsettling, gradiently magnifying sheets of blowing wind. And all that intensely augmented by misty, yet titillating stringed glimpses. Immensely infinite horizons continuously collide with intriguingly rougher tapestries. An epic listening paragon!!! Nearly 11-minute "Metamorphism" firmly keeps on the path of monumentally engulfing and monochromatically panoptic sceneries, relentlessly amplified by subterraneanly illuminating gossamer signals, deep bass beacons and ephemerally piquant outbursts. A jaw-dropping aural bliss awaits here, unquestionably a Hall of Fame composition, bravo, Paolo!!! "Terra Australis Reliquendum", a 15-plus minutes long piece, closes this breathtakingly immersing expedition with powerfully poignant layers, tranquilly spiralling and exquisitely intertwining with moving piano subtleties, remotely bizarre barks, frighteningly rumbling squeaks and warmly elegiac, yet disturbingly captivating electric strings. A grand finale to a true sonic monument!!!

What to add? Many compliments have been already expressed, but that's what this album deserves! Yes, once again, nearly 66 minutes long "Terra Australis" is a truly phenomenal work by enormously gifted soundsculptor, who unfortunately remained unknown to me for several years. My mistake is now fixed and I can fully enjoy and celebrate all virtuosic insignias of Paolo Mascolini. I invite all of you, who don't know him yet, to share the same delight, trust me, you won't be disappointed! Sōzuproject's discography counts 9 titles, including one collaboration with Bartholomäus Traubeck, 8 CDr editions plus one cassette release for Naviar Records. You can't go wrong with any of these gems, as all CDr editions come in a hand-made packaging with stunningly attractive design, all created by the artist himself. Distinguishably authentic craftiness, both aural and visual, is displayed on each album. Hats off to Paolo Macolini aka Sōzuproject, who is always able to deliver something uniquely special on each of his recordings!!! Grazie, Maestro!!! And by the way, the new album "Icarus" is in the pipeline, it should be out around October or November...

Richard Gürtler (Sep 09, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)