[reviews] afe121cd
meerkat: kapnos

chain d.l.k. []
webzine, italy, june 2009

This is the third installment in a group of concept albums by Matteo Uggeri of Sparkle In Grey (and several other projects) and Maurizio Bianchi. Evidently, the concept ("kapnos" is the Greek word for "smoke"”) was formed by these two, but much of the musical heavy lifting was done by a collaboration by the "Meerkat Ensemble".

According to the website "the Meerkat ensemble is formed by a group of musicians working in the field of experimental music, drones, microsounds and field recordings: Adriano Zanni / Punck, Matteo Uggeri / Hue, Luca Sigurtà, Luca Bergero / Fhievel, Davide Valecchi / Aal, Andrea Ferraris / Ics, Fabio Selvafiorita, Paolo Ippoliti (Logoplasm), Laura Lovreglio (Logoplasm) and Andrea Marutti / Amon / Never Known."

Thus, we have an Italian supergroup of experimental musicians all under one banner. Of the ten, I was only previously familiar with Matteo Uggeri, Andrea Marutti, and Andrea Ferraris of Ur.

With all of these artists working on the same thing, you would think that the result would be quite disjointed, especially since there are different artists working on each track. However, it is actually surprisingly coherent.

Part of this likely comes from the sound of crackling fire that weaves its way through most of the tracks, keeping a sense of continuity. The tracks blend into each other, making it difficult to tell when one ends and the next begins.

As for the music itself, it is subdued dark ambient that has just a touch of noisy elements that keep it engaging. Voices fade in and out, while synth drones lull you into a peaceful state. This gives way to a bit of dissonance, yet never really becomes troubling.

This is really accessible experimental music – something that just about anyone could enjoy. It doesn't demand a lot from the listener, but it is a very enjoyable listen. This album weighs in at 40:47.