Red Sector A speed up Alio Die (2001)

Italy's Andrea Bellucci (Red Sector A) and Stefano Musso (Alio Die) have been creating intriguing experimental sounds individually for quite some time. With SON-DHA, the two respected artists have joyned forces, creating an album that molds and shapes glistering down-tempo blip-hop, chill-out drum and bass and atmospheric, mind-opening ambient dub. Resound delves a bit deeper into this amazing electronic act. 

Carl Schultz / Relapse

As one should be able to gather from the album title, Son-Dha is a collaborative effort between Red Sector A and Alio Die, the latter of which provided material for the former to manipulate. The result is eight lengthy tracks (the shortest of which runs 5:30, where the average running time is nearly 7:00) of curious ambient/trip-hop sounds that rely heavily on beats and samples, as well as lush synths and organic textures.  There's definitely a fair amount of repetition in some of these tracks, but the consistent delivery creates a subtly trance-like state that makes the material pass by at a faster pace that one would expect. Tracks such as "Dreaming (Flyer Mix)" integrate samples incredibly well, allowing the layered beats to remain focal while the samples rest very low in the mix and almost act more as a curious layer of texture than a matter of content. "Shuar (Floating Mix)" has a very somber beginning with some piano and samples of flowing water before getting into one of the more energetic segments that uses lots of electronic blips and tones. Also more upbeat are the jazzy beats and tempo of "Alternate Realities (Psychonaut Mix)", one of the strongest pieces herein. As expected with something so electronic and precise the recording is very nice. The sounds are clear, the mix is clean, the volume levels appropriate (i.e. not over-compressed), and so on. There's not much to the visual presentation, just a few simple text arrangements (credits, thanks lists, etc.) and a lot of pseudo-psychedelic imagery that consists mainly of dark blue/purple tones and repeating circular images or designs. This is definitely one to check out for fans of the more structured, beat-heavy experimental styles. It's not dance music or anything like that, even though elements of what could be considered a more laid back techno do present themselves. The disc as a whole is quite relaxing and I do enjoy it, indeed.