Boomkat Product Review:
Caterina Barbieri binds cello, voice and Buchla 200 modular synth in sweeping electro-acoustic panoramas on ‘Born Again In The Voltage’, her 2nd solo LP with Important following the resoundingly captivating ‘Patterns Of Consciousness’ .
Recorded at EMS in Stockholm, ’Born Again In The Voltage’ is arguably the Berlin-based Italian’s most distinctive release yet, demonstrating a hard-nosed yet romantic approach to electro-acoustic music that stands out from her field in a way perhaps best compared with a more chaotic parallel to Alessandro Cortini or Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, while also echoing the probing, contemporary styles of her peers and collaborators such as Kali Malone and Ellen Arkbro.
Naturally tempestuous but coolly controlled, the astonishing designs of ‘Born Again In The Voltage’ are testament to Caterina’s unique grasp of meditative, minimalist maelstroms. Using elemental, primary waveforms, pattern based operations and subtractive counterpoints, her music blossoms along polyphonic and polyrhythmic axes with a complex unpredictability and timbral density that is a richly psychedelic pleasure to experience.
Picking us up in the arcing swells of Antonello Manzo’s cello and the radiant pulses of ‘Human Developers’, Barbieri takes 12 minutes to arrive in oxygen-depleted altitudes, before letting the cello sound out in a melting Renaissance hall of mirrors in ‘Rendering Intutions’. By the mid-way point, suitably dazed and malleable, she really pushes the envelope with uncanny tactility in the viscous subharmonics and contrail contours of ‘How To Decode An Illusion’ coming off like Stephen O’Malley deep in the matrix with Keith Fullerton Whitman, while her latent techno side, previously explored alongside Carlo Maria in the Punctum project for Berlin’s Σ, comes blazing thru in the mesmerising undulations of ‘We Access Only A Fraction’, which will make a serious DJ tool in the right mitts.