Boomkat Product Review:
Caterina Barbieri somehow recalls both Laurie Spiegel and Lorenzo Senni on her staggering debut album for Editions Mego, with ‘Ecstatic Computations’ yielding her most striking and accessible experiments in pointedly explorative synthesis
Working at the point where deep, learned R&D meets sophisticated expression of soul, ‘Ecstatic Computation’ is one of those rare sides that comes close to divining the ghost in the machine. In further pursuit of the themes underlining Caterina’s ‘Patterns of Consciousness’  and ‘Born Again In The Voltage’  records, here she uses more complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations to generate the kind of vivid, hallucinatory trance states that many electronic music followers arguably spent their lives seeking.
With ‘Ecstatic Computation’ Caterina’s basically mastered the art of extracting a contemplative wonder from her machines, creatively using formal process to manipulate the listener’s temporal and proprioceptive senses, subtly distorting our perception of time and space with spellbinding and psychedelic effect. Most crucially, just like her fellow Italian composer, Lorenzo Senni, Caterina achieves this effect through minimalist means, with a certain magick lying in the way she allows her machines’ full voice and personality to as speak freely, fluidly as the languages of classical music, and with the immediacy of trance music.
From the vertiginous scale and epic breadth of ‘Fantas’, thru the intensely expressive miniature ‘Spine of Desire’, to the balletic agility of ‘Closest Approach to Your Orbit’, Caterina veritably dances on our nerve endings, before swiftly inverting that headlong futurism with the chamber-like design of ‘Arrows of Time’, featuring vocals by Annie Gårlid (UCC Harlo) and Evelyn Sailor, and wrapping up with the visceral ecstasy of ‘Pinnacles of You’ and a spine-freezing finale ‘Bow of Perception’. It’s just glorious, life-affirming stuff, sure to send her audience stratospheric.