[reviews] afe014rcd
never known: once in a lifetime [remastered edition]

sonomu []
webzine, u.k., june 2008

"Another Friendly Edition" is the classy little CD-R label founded and run by Andrea Marutti. Today Marutti is an established and admired ambient artist, but he has a long history of experimenting with genres stretching back to the early nineties and releasing (mostly solo) material under a variety of pseudonyms, including Never Known.

Several years ago he founded Afe to showcase - in handsome rectangular cardboard sleeves - a roster of singular works by singular artists generally filed under the category "ambient". In April 2007 he reissued his own sophomore effort, "Once In a Lifetime", recorded thirteen years earlier.

Remastering music Marutti claims was made with "poor equipment, which included several tape recorders, cheap microphones and objects", he also freshened things up a bit by adding a few sythesizer brush strokes.

The music on "Once In a Lifetime" is darkish, in the sense of "primitive" - it seems like we're in a place where many taboos circumscribe existence. These tracks are sketches, grand vistas indeed, but of regions you really ought not to be in. Some of these sketches are more filled-in and detailed, like "Through the Gate", out of whose haze of drone emerges a soft, distant tribal chant with powerful suggestive force.

This is clearly ambient of an early vintage - Enovian, one might call it, recalling the low-key but high impact work Brian Eno created on albums like "Apollo" and "Music for Films" - big on ideas and low on ostentation. It takes you somewhere utterly foreign and new.

[Stephen Fruitman]