Boomkat Product Review:
Absorbingly variegated, abstract electronics and gentle free jazz from Italy’s Laura Agnusdei, back on The Wormhole with explorations of an organic “5th World” sound owing to Jon Hassell as much as Björk and Charles Mingus, and recalling everyone from Rashad Becker to John Tchicai
““Laurisilva” is the scientific name for a kind of subtropical forest, charactarised by the presence of laurophyll, broadleaf tree species and high humidity. Laura Agnusdei borrowed this scientific term, which contains also the same Latin roots of her first name, to describe the personal musical ecosystem of her debut album. Its six tracks invite the listener to explore an imaginary landscape made from sounds growing and layering like biological organisms within a forest.
“Laurisilva” is a hybrid habitat, where the acoustic dimension of wind instruments – explored both in their melodic and timbral possibilities – meshes with polymorphic electronic sounds. The high biodiversity of the record takes inspirations from Jon Hassell, Charles Mingus, Björk and Terry Riley as well as the “Fifth World Music” of Italian label Artetetra. It also reflects Laura’s eclectic experience as a saxophone player and composer, ranging from psych rock to marching bands, from acousmatic composition to free improvisation.
While her saxophone is often the leading voice of the work, it occasionally shares the stage with the trumpet of contemporary music player Elisabeth Lusche, the swinging reeds of Italian jazz musician Giacomo Bertocchi and the ancient flutes of early music expert Thomas Reyna.
The cover of the album features an illustration by Agnusdei herself, taken from her ongoing series of drawings “Organic Life Patterns”.”