Alio Die

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Robert Davies has created over the years and twelve albums, a particular and unique immersive ambient music with a ...

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Alio Die ~ Sylvi Alli

Amidst the circling spires - out on Projekt january 21, 2014

"A captivating electro-ambient journey into an interior space, weaving visions of strong emotional impact. Sylvi’s heavenly voice drifts within the highly processed acoustic sounds.."

Tracking list:

1 The inner sea (silver sea)  05:29
2 Dreaming tree                  09:05
3 Crepuscular birds              10:24
4 La grotta delle Naiadi        11:39
5 Numinous veins                09:11
6 Across a splendid vista      08:03         
7 Revenir                            04:28

Mp3 player

Sylvi Alli: Voice, percusion and electronics on 7.
Alio Die: Drones and loops,zither, rattles and seeds.

Lingua Fungi: zither and effects on 3.
Lorenzo Montanà: electronics on 4.

Artwork by Stefano Musso and Sam Rosenthal.

Amidst the Circling Spires is a captivating electro-ambient journey into an interior space, weaving visions of strong emotional impact. Sylvi’s heavenly voice drifts within the highly processed acoustic sounds created by Alio Die: a hybrid between – sonorous soundscapes and acoustic mysticism. The treated tones are an essential magma – organic and animated – luring the listener in like an ancestral call or an ancient saga. The loops, played with carillon, kalimba, zither, different objects and field recordings, blend into finely-detailed layered and treated.
Sylvi’s voice is intense and moving, evanescent and precise – each song a mantra exploring a unique soundworld. Her vocals interact deeply with the melodies and atmosphere of Alio Die as they weave together like dark roots underground.
The ecstatic and ritualistic landscapes that these artists offer shine with a magic all their own – giving rise to a multiple array of meditations perfectly mixed with unique pathos and abstraction.

ENG: “Amidst The Circling Spires” is another point in Italian Alio Die’s large discography. This time, Stefano Musso didn’t deliver the music via his own enterprise, that is Hic Sunt Leones, but has entrusted this task to Projekt Records from the United States. Just like “Deconsecrated And Pure” in 2012 and his “female” collaborations (with Martina Galvagni, Amelia Cuni and the Japanese group Jack Or Jive). I mention this not without reason, as Stefano has also recorded the album discussed here in collaboration with a representative of the fairer sex, Sylvi Alli.

It seems that the segregation of duties was clear during the recording of “Amidst the Circling Spires”. Sylvi lends her voice, Stefano is responsible for the instrumental layering, electronics and field recordings. Both musicians supplement each other, none of them predominates over the other. The opening of the disc, “The Inner Sea (Silver Sea)”, is notably beautiful, as Sylvi’s unique voice and the quiet, warm drones generated by Stefano merge into one and flow together carried by sea currents. In the next few compositions the Italian musician moves his electronic textures into the background, allowing the field recordings and live instruments to have their voice heard in a broader spectrum – including a zither, the sound of which he loves so much. The first culmination of the album, “La Grotta Delle Naiadi”, seems to be over eleven minutes long: subtle, yet redolent with some anxiety. The specific sounds and passages Stefano often bases his compositions on, are here distantly echoed while silence plays first fiddle; a silence perturbed only by the sound of rain, gentle tinkers and Sylvi Alli’s mystical chants. An extraordinary composition, possibly the best on the album.

With “Numinous Veins” the listener goes deeper underground in the cave from the title of the preceding piece. It’s in a sense a continuation of “La Grotta Delle Naiadi”, although of an even darker shade and filled with moisture, reverb and mystery. Only thanks to “Across A Splendid Vista” we find our way back to the light. This segment is very characteristic of Alio Die achievements of the past few years, based on soothing drones drifting freely in the air, through which quasimedieval motifs occasionally worm their way. There’s nothing new if we speak about the current aspect of the music made by this Tuscan artist, but so what, since it is so pleasant to listen?

“Revenir” is the album’s finale. Maybe not a ‘grand’ finale as it’s the shortest track of “Amidst The Circling Spires”, but I consider it as a second culmination and at the same time a stylish crowning of Sylvi and Stefano’s cooperation. Her vocals float the listener into the clouds and allow him to feel as light as a feather, almost vanish into thin air. Until I’m overtaken by regret that silence is coming so fast. Perhaps the two musicians will unite their forces again sometime, because this time they did really well. Perfectly balanced different moods, those of a lighter color, as well as those a bit more gray, almost passing into black. Overall, however, the music calms and distracts from reality. Each year I plan to visit Tuscany and an obstacle always occurs, but thanks to Alio Die I at least have this kind of pleasant substitute, which Sylvi has ennobled in a very special way.

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