Boomkat Product Review:
Not Glass is the hugely immersive, often surprising debut collaboration between Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) and his longtime correspondent Dimitris Papadatos (Jay Glass Dubs), deploying a sublime and unexpected line of mystic, ambient dub and tribal rhythms to reconfigure what we know about their respective outputs. If you regularly join dots between Eno & Budd, Sylvian & Sakamoto, Peter Gabriel & John Carpenter, and crave that sweet spot where pop and ambient archetypes reach an unsteady equilibrium, this one’s spectacularly satisfying.
Paying tribute to Latin and Greek authors Ovid and Heraclitus in a suite of sublime electronics and cryptic rhythms comparable to a theatrical soundtrack, ‘Forma’ is the result of years of daily chats between the London and Athens-based artists where they cemented the album’s concept around key quotes by the legendary poet/philosophers, who hail from their respective homelands of Italy and Greece.
On this timeless plane, Natalizia and Papadatos spaciously consolidate their contrasting, rhythm-driven approaches in a reverberant, often beatless sphere of exploration. Removed from their usual handrails, the artists operate at their most open-ended and suggestive, amorphously shapeshifting from gloaming shadowplays of synth and keys to investigate arcane percussive impulses and iridescent ambient whorls.
The result is a perfect, finely shaded marriage of their mutually esoteric, outsider Southern European energies, which intuitively acknowledges and inhabits the paradoxes of their respective styles. The illusively static yet mercurial ebb and flow of the atmospheric intro ‘Fallite fallentes’ sets the scene, where ‘Dum loquor, hora fugit’ invokes a viscous but brittle tangle of wide bass and pointillist rhythms beside a stately cello vignette ‘Ludicrum’ that recalls aspects of Scott Walker’s mystic charm ’Soused’.
The rapid arps and slow moving, glassy pads of ‘Pauper ubique iacet’ conjure a sublime tension that becomes diffused into the cavernous, hollow dub dread of ‘Ut ameris, amabilis esto’, possessed with its throaty, processed vocal, and the lonely strings and plasmic electronics of ‘Forma bonum fragile est’ connotes a psychedelic coming-to-terms with their artistic/philosophic duality. Total pearl this one.