Described as a sound alphabet, Ulises Conti delivers 26 tracks varied experiments marked in name by the letters of the alphabet. So from the beginning you know it is concept driven and the album does deliver high end sonic manipulations of processed piano and guitar, environmental sound and field recordings and choral sampling in short packets. As information the packets are information rich. One you get the sense of a classical training, or at least an inclination towards the piano that style it in a modern classical sensibility. Whatever that means. “B’ is a stand out track with the high crisp piano and sharp sweet piano technique lingering with the producers touch. It demonstrates what to expect of the album, highly wrought and fashioned placement of sound objects that seem by themselves effortless. Practiced simplicity is indeed a highly skilled trade.
There is ample use of contemporary electronic sound techniques which add nuance to an album that could well have rested on the fluid skill of producer Ismael Pinkler. You get the very real sense that the producer’ co-credit writ large on the album is no light acknowledgement. It is a producer’ album. The aloof delivery of subtle statics and electronic manipulations do not disturb the transitions between genres and tracks which morph and present a polished seamless display. Similarly all the different collected musical techniques of Ulises Conti, which are delivered in profusion, happen as if not to be commented upon. It is the skill as weaving the not altogether disparate parts that is truly amazing with this album.
So the melancholy of “T’ piano meanders may incline you to such moods the play of resonance and the lingering extensions of the effect draw you in before being invited into a click and piano distortion of “U’ that draws out and plays the effects as main stage. Likewise a drone heavy track ‘H’ does not seem out of place between two piano numbers with simpler touches and diecrete but ever present sonic effects and play. By the time you get to “Y’ Conti brings back the choral beginning and you wonder if he is bookending the album, but it is closed by a slow resonant piano tinkering which whiles away the end in an aesthetic denouement that we could all desire to close the story.
Conti has released seven albums, mostly on his own label Metamusica, with this album being his second on the Japanese imprint Flau. There are also two albums with fellow Argentinian Lola Arias.