1. Digital Wind 2:07
2. 2 Many Words 5:15
3. Placenta 3:29
4. Wireframe 3:51
5. Drilling Stones 4:00
6. s34 6:02
7. Ice 5:27
8. Ananke 6:35
9. Diapason 6:35
10. Elektrostatic 5:09
11. Mantra 10:18
12. No Time, No Space 8:36
13. Lacrima cosmica 6:22
After the successful debut disc of Two Dead Bodies released in April 2006 it's now time for some more Afe / Bar La Muerte co-productions. One of them is a034's "Chemical Nature".
a034 is a one-man band conducted by Stefano Pulici from Milan, Italy. This project was created some ten years ago without any definite ambitions and was brought to the public attention when its first CD album was released by Tijuana Records (...the very first manifestation of what later became Bar La Muerte...) back in 1999.
After some years of live-sets experience, a034 got in touch with Acid Drops, an italian techno group involved in parties mostly based on industrial sounds and hardcore beats. This fact allowed him to start playing more often especially at free parties.
Today a034 is still alive and kicking and Stefano is also involved in other projects such as Nuke Satori, Six Figure Nigga, Figli di Diapa (with Hyena and Mbst8) and Lava (with Bruno Dorella of OvO and Ronin fame).
During the years, his music was released on CD and vinyl by labels such as Bar La Muerte, Hydrophonic, Blackbean and Placenta, FVA, Homesleep, Napalmed and Blackqirex.
is a034's latest full-lenght offering and is a more ambient / experimental affair if compared to his previous CDs. The common trait of most of the tracks on the album, is the use of sounds grabbed from natural sources in more synthetic contexts.
The album title is open to different meanings and may be explained with multiple interpretations (..."Mother Nature", the "nature" of things, "nature" as attitude/constitution, etc.) that we leave to anyone's sensitiveness.
All tracks on "Chemical Nature" are mixed together to create a seventyfour minutes journey. The disc starts with the minimal introduction of "Digital Wind"
and continues with "2 Many Words", an IDM / Breakbeat track built on intricate 7/4 drum patterns driven by multiple effects that bring everything very far from the edge of stability.
begins with different recordings of water that are soon paired with percussive sequencer lines of digital sounds. "Wireframe" is a more complex and faster number based on infinite rhythmic permutations with added pads, bubbles and effects that clearly showcase a034's production skills.
Treated sounds of wood, shells, sand and stones appear on "Drilling Stones"
along with almost unrecognizable vocal samples gifting us with another softly drilled experience.
The voice of the sea is the lead protagonist of the aptly titled "s34", a more quiet and bouncing ambient tune... Surprisingly there are no ice sounds on - ehm - "Ice" but some obstinated piano and synth melodies laid upon a bed of classic d'n'b breakbeats and bass lines.
A ticking clock introduces the beautiful "Ananke", another complex track that lives on countless fragments of a sampled ghostly voice counterpointed by multiple digital events.
"Diapason" features more contact-microphoned objects, both in highly treated and untreated mode, and ambient drones created elaborating the sound of a simple... diapason.
is a slow and slightly obsessive track with its reiterated bass hooks and more samples of rubber, plastic, sand, etc.
Cloacking in at more than ten minutes, "Mantra" is the longest episode on "Chemical Nature". It fuses together an entrancing indian mantra and a transcendental sufi chant with more synth lines and simple percussion patterns. This music could really go on forever and you couldn't help falling inside the rotating spiral it creates.
"No Time, No Space": that's exactly where you should find yourself as soon as the previous track comes to its conclusion. The digital pads of this tune create a sense of void and at the end you're left with some echoing remains...
"Lacrima cosmica" (Cosmic Tear) closes the album with its slow heavy industrial breaks. It is dedicated to Betty 23, a well-known and respected activist/protagonist of the italian punk/underground scene who sadly perished in an accidental fire in 2004.
The original artwork/graphics for "Chemical Nature" were created by Robert Rebotti / Jack La Motta with a mixed media technique.
"Stefano Pulici è uno dei nomi che più si adattano alla variegata indole di Afe, la sua elettronica disinibita è come lo sguardo attraverso una vetrata caleidoscopica sul mondo circostante. a034 si muove nella sintesi fra natura e tecnica, una metropoli fluida che crea cellule e arterie elettroniche pulsanti da rigagnoli, pietre, quarzi disintegrati e fiumi di quartieri buzzatiani battuti dall'ultimo Sole, un'anima indagatrice appollaiata sui tetti osserva dentro le emozioni altrui..."
"With an established interest and background in techno (i.e., tekno) production and live performance, the sound of a034 also draws from other influences in glitch, breakbeat, punk and power noise... "Chemical Nature" is packaged with some first-rate artwork and graphics on its sleeve, and the mixed organic and tectonic forms therein are another appropriate indicator of the disc's fused and manipulated content derivations. Overall well-produced and exceptionally effective, "Chemical Nature" should serve as an indication of Pulici's talent, not to mention a harbinger of hopefully more good things to come from the a034 project..."
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