Boomkat Product Review:
YOUTH’s Italian ambassador reprises a pulpy sense of nostalgia, indulging in sentimental melody and wistful ambient texturing for romantics into anything from 0PN to Fennesz, Hajj, Malibu, Incunabula.
‘Beautiful Age’ is SSIEGE’s reflection on adolescence and the gauzy fidelity of memory, using an electro-acoustic array of piano, samples, tape loops, synths and field recordings to evoke feelings of longing for the eternal spring of youth. The 10 tracks return to the palette of saturated colours found in his well received 2019 debut LP, ‘Fading Summer’ and subtly calibrate the contrasts to evoke the entropic siltiness of memory recall. Largely shy of fixed rhythms and elegantly pulsing in mid-air, the drifting music suggests a throwback to therapeutic new age ambient as much as the cues and signposts of melodramatic TV soaps and film soundtracks.
As implied in the title and decay of ‘Dub Sottomarino’ or most explicitly in the air-trodding ‘Bianca’, dub process is also a lowkey guiding light for the album, lending a spectral opacity and space that helps encourage the mind to regress, drift, and depart the prosaic. It blesses the lead track with an underwater quality that also leaches into the waterlogged synth lead vamps and skeletal steppers rhythms of ‘Veyl’ and through to the vapourware adjacent title credits of ‘Close Friends’. In the gauzy tender bits between he probes a fine spectra of feels from the drizzly reverie ‘Fata Foresta’ to forlorn solo piano figures of ‘Cg104’ and a pearlescent highlight of disembodied dance music structures and dolphin calls akin to Hajj in ‘Terza Acqua’, while ‘Drama Lover’ metaphorically seals the soft focus pulpiness with a coy glance of choral pads and a deglazed, low-lit mood.