Paolo Modugno – Brise D’Automne (1988 / 2017)
Note: This is a modified and expanded version of a review, originally published by SoundOhm.
Anyone who has spent some time on The Hum, knows of my overwhelming affinity for the Italian 20th century sonic avant-garde. Most of this music has long lingered in neglect, heard by only a small few beyond the borders of that country. That said, in recent years, a number of labels have begun to dedicate considerable energy to excavating, reissuing, and drawing attention to some of that scene’s remarkable output. Among them, Archeo Recordings stands out. Their expanded reissue of Paolo Modugno’s brilliant Brise D’Automne, is no exception to the high bar of their focus. A member of the legendary multi-media performance collective O.A.S.I., a singular composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Paolo Modugno’s work is among the most hunted within the incredible canon of recordings to emerge in the hands of the 1980’s Italian experimental avant-garde – a hybrid of countless musical traditions from across the globe, joined with experimental electroacoustic practice, and the deep ambiences of New Age.
Brise D’Automne – originally issued in 1988 on the coveted Stile Libero imprint, is without proximity – a Trojan horse embedding it sonic challenges beneath a deceptively accessible skin. Complex rhythms and repetitive patterns penetrate ethereal sonic space – sculpting a largely unexplored middle ground between the efforts of Midori Takada, Futuro Antico, Uakti, and the world of pop – a strange rethinking of late Minimalism as it has been rarely heard. With vast reference and touchstone – from the indigenous vocal traditions of Africa, to the instrumental metronomy of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, Brise D’Automne is one of the truly striking works of its era – engrossing, challenging, and remarkably beautiful. Returning to vinyl for the first time since its original issue, Archeo has pulled out the stops – presenting a hand-numbered limited edition of 500, accompanying the original LP with a bonus 12”, containing 2 tracks previously unreleased on vinyl. You can check it out below, and pick it up from the label, SoundOhm, or from your local record shop.
Paolo Modungo – Danza Nell’Acqua, from Brise D’Automne (1988)
Paolo Modungo – Il Minareto, from Brise D’Automne (1988)
Paolo Modungo – Solare, from Brise D’Automne (1988)
Paolo Modungo – Sine sole sileo, from Brise D’Automne (1988)
Paolo Modungo – Brise D’Automne, from Brise D’Automne (1988)
Paolo Modungo – Anche le pietre cantano, from Brise D’Automne (1988)
Paolo Modungo – Racconti dell’arbre du Ténéré, from Brise D’Automne (1988)