Few producers can handle a synthesizer quite as masterfully as Alessandro Cortini.
The Italian musician has been building up a reputation for a few years now, under a plethora of different monikers, pushing his electronic instruments to near-breaking point. Cortini mastered the towering Buchla modular system, securing him a well-deserved spot on keys for Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg.
Last year Cortini dropped the excellent Sonno LP on Dominick Fernow’s Hospital imprint, and the Buchla was nowhere to be seen. Instead of showing his chops on an instrument that most musicians couldn’t dream of using, Cortini instead confined himself to the humble Roland MC-202. The 202 doesn’t have the reputation of some of its starrier Roland family, mainly because it’s notoriously difficult to use, but it’s basically a portable, keyboard-less SH-101 with a sequencer that requires an advanced intellect to take advantage of. The portable nature of the instrument allowed Cortini to pen tunes while on tour with Nine Inch Nails, and his follow-up LP, Risveglio, continues where Sonno left off.
This time around he’s added some other portable Roland instruments – the legendary silver pair, the TR-606 and the TB-303. The message and basic sound, however, remains intact. There’s no squiggly acid here; rather, Cortini finds a way to tailor the familiar instruments to his own very specific sound, and emerges with something haunting and personal.
That’s exactly the kind of thought behind this dense FACT mix – sure there are cuts from Plastikman, Aphex Twin and William Basinski, but these are drowned in abstract electronics and muted noise from Shifted, Powell and Peder Mannerfelt.
Alessandro Cortini’s Risveglio will be released on Hospital Productions on July 27.
Muslimgauze – ‘Azzarin’
Plastikman – ‘Ekko’
Ekman – ‘Quantative Matter and Motion’
joeFarr – ‘DMF’
Mannerfelt & Haydo – ‘Head Related Transfer Function’
Varg – ‘Skaeliptom’
Drumcell – ‘Speak Silence’ (Slumberman Remix)
Mark Verbos – ‘Torn Cones’
Shifted – ‘Cold Light’ (Sektor D)
Powell – ‘No U Turn’
Aphex Twin – ‘Polynomial-C’
Doxa Sinistra – ‘Conveyer Belt’
William Basinski – ‘Untitled’
Grouper – ‘Clearing’