Italian composer Salvatore Borrelli is known under the moniker (etre) for a variety of performances, recordings and installations of sound art. For Inferno From My Occult Diary, the composer boldly makes his inspiration and context quite clear in his liner notes: The work is “dedicated to the universal movement of synapses…” (I quote only in part here) and to “the memory of all people whom haven’t voiced their life or used hands to write their existence.”
These ideas do seem to resonate within and around the sounds themselves. The five sections are built from dark drones, disembodied voices drawn from electronic media, indeterminate clicks and static, and processed acoustic guitar and Satie-ish piano melodies (played by the composer). All of this is placed with the utmost care from both a timbral and spatial viewpoint.
For all the layers going on here, Borrelli evinces a deft touch in the organization of his material. There are occasional distant echoes of Ussachevsky — albeit in ways much less linear or harmonic — in the way sounds are treated not only for texture, but also for the tension between association and mystery. (Indeed, it might well be that listeners will meet these sounds with their own very personal associations and apprehensions.)
The final section, “Consenguito Silenzio,” reveals all of this in remarkable ways. It morphs from drone-and-event into a sonic structure that is almost unbearably dense in timbre. Paradoxically, this might bring the listener to an extraordinary experience, as the small spaces between the sound-layers seem to open into deep abysses, the effect hitting like a spectral ton of bricks. By Kevin Macneil Brown on Dusted Magazine
Italian sound artist (etre) dedicates this work to “the universal movement of synapses,” as well as “the memory of all people whom haven’t voiced their life or used hands to write their existence.” He also thanks all people who have unknowningly contributed to this album, particularly “black musicians of Delta music that played during pauses of hard work to survive and sustain life.” Opening track “Voices Stomp Flames For Requiem Times” loops crying voices into a slow mournful rhythm, and “To Provoke A Fire Beyond Your Shutters” uses the sounds of massed cries for freedom.
Musically, (etre) combines acoustic and electronic instruments with field recordings, loops, broken turntables and laptop processing, into a thick, dreamlike collage. Not that these are always good dreams, of course. “We Do Boring Things Together” has a somewhat sunny acoustic guitar melody, but the sounds of doom and depression abound. The sounds are processed and cycled in a stunning manner, and the disc is challenging and exciting for its entire duration. The disc is divided into five pieces, and there are gaps in between some of them, but the whole disc works best as one extended meditation.
More so than any other release I’ve heard recently, Inferno From My Occult Diary is a dense, complex work which reveals much on repeated listens. I hear different things every time I listen, and it’s all fascinating. This is a powerful work reflecting on oppression and humanity, and I can’t recommend it enough. 8/10 Written by Paul Simon on Foxy Digitalis