WalkingSoundtracks, Tightrope, 9th September 2012 ITA
It is with a certain sense of deja-vu that I approached “Tightrope” by WalkingSoundtracks: much too explicit intentions in the WalkingSoundtracks name itself while the title is not even in my imaginary.
What I found is a self-produced 8-tracks album gently moving through several references and styles, always revealing a personal sense of drama, deserving multiple and differentiate listenings.
Guitar, saxophones, clarinet, cello, samples, synthesizers and drum machine, along with several female singers: these are the main ingredients of the plate. The chef who composed and recorded it is Nicola Di Croce, trained as a guitarist, fond of electronic music (and by chance, an architect), whose main sensibility lies in the surprising balance between electronics, samples and acoustic instruments (reminding me of Icarus‘ birdy electric world and the whole Leaf Label distopic research.)
A central focus though is given by field recordings which punctuates all along.
It deals mainly with voices catched in public spaces, recalling Koji Marutani‘s Scenes even if with a different sensibility and density. Different environment fragments emerge as part of the structures, melting with the beats and shaping passages in an Herbert-like swing (especially in that gem titled “Fall Voice”) while sometimes they are simply layered down as a sort of general colour, which seems to be more an alignment with some folktronica à la The Books rather than a personal path.
The field recordings practice can be a trap for musicians: too often extremely tidy compositions seem to completely miss an attitude, thus resulting an illusion for the listeners.
I’m speaking about making music, I’m pointing to the final purpose, to that abstract and immediate pleasure of melody, to the hearty appetite for the beat, to the immediatness of musical forms…
That’s why I do like this record: despite the name/project WS deals freely with instruments as well as field recordings, pure notes along with dirty noises, but it finally aims to music and surely not to “sonic landscapes” or “sonic documents”.
“A cross section, a passing through cities, an open poem, the wonder of noises”, this is WalkingSoundtracks’ self-description and if I should condense it in a single word I would use “cinema”: listen to how theme insists in “Trading”, the wide loneliness of “Through” or the initial over-talking and the psychotic escape of “Nonsense Sharing”.
Most of these songs are inspired soundtracks and themes, music dodging an easy labeling and stating a sincere point of view (and of listening) to the world.