Sonno (2019 repress)
Much needed re-press of Alessandro Cortini's 2014 debut album for Hospital Productions, a much sought-after and highly immersive suite recorded using a minimal setup in hotel rooms across the globe while on tour as part of Nine Inch Nails.
Cortini is best known as the lead electronics performer in Nine Inch Nails, but in recent years his work as Sonoio' and a pair of fine albums for Important Records under his own name have highlighted his own individual productions. Known as one of the pre-eminent Buchla masters in North America, Cortini makes a surprising departure on 'Sonno' by making use of little more than a Roland MC 202 fed through a delay pedal and ambient sound recordings taken in various hotel rooms recorded direct, sometimes into a small portable speaker system. I liked to walk around the room with a handheld recorder to hear where the sequence would sound better, turn on faucets, open doors or windows to see how the ambient sounds would interact with the MC 202/delay/speaker sound
The result is a beautiful, evocative, highly unusual suite of tracks, quite removed from the Modular/Kosmische revivalism thats been so preeminent over the last decade. Sonno' is soaked in atmosphere, those background recordings imbuing proceedings with a fizzing resonance thats impossible to recreate artificially, making for essential listening for anyone who cant get enough of classic material from ENO or AFX and bored with cheap imitations.