[reviews] afe039cd
raffaele serra: digital avatar

chain d.l.k. []
webzine, italy, march 2003

A true veteran of the Italian electronic/ambient scene, with renown works like "Kodak Ghost Poem", "Ritual in transfigured time" and "A tapestry for the sorcerers", Raffaele Serra has been collaborating over the last few years with Andrea Marutti (Amon, Never Known, Lips Vago, Spiral...)'s Afe, now a kind of official label for his releases, like the most recent one, "Europe Endless".

This work, released last year with the usual professional care (Afe's CD-Rs could undoubtly be mistaken for "official" releases), is explicit from its very title and layout: a blend of Oriental spirituality and modern technology, a sort of heartfelt prayer from an Occidental man of today.

The opening track, "Morning Glory", and the closing one, "River of No Return", embrace the whole work with a frame of ritual ambient textures reminding of Steve Roach or Vidna Obmana; ethereal drones bearing light and shades.

The rest of the work, while sharing a common atmosphere - like a sort of "unquiet trance", if you pass me the oxymoron -, is definitely more rhythmic, with remarkable tracks like "Water-Lily" and "The Glass Key", or the more serene "Wooden". I can only say they reminded me a lot of the works of the Portuguese duo Ras.Al.Ghul, possibly for a common "spiritual sense" as well.

[Eugenio Maggi]