Boomkat Product Review:
Understandably regarded as thee holy grail of Italian Minimalism, Giusto Pio’s totally sublime debut LP Motore Immobile (1979) starts a very necessary new life cycle, licensed and pressed on vinyl by new label Soave for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Produced by Pio’s then student, soon collaborator and massive Italian pop composer, Franco Battiato, the strikingly radiant masterwork Motore Immobile forms an impeccable distillation of what connected and separated Italian Minimalism from its American counterpart - namely an intimate sense of restraint, sound sensitivity and quiet ecstasy, as opposed to more grandiose landscapes or swelling communal gestures of the heavyweights from the west such as Riley, Glass or Reich.
Coming from a country of steeply progressive yet sometimes conservative musical traditions, Motore Immobile was realised and originally appeared amid an influx of innovative, spiritualised domestic recordings which took lessons from their American counterparts and mixed them with a typically hi-fidelity approach to recording and production which, by the late ‘70s, had made Italian studios famed as the natural choice for post-production on some of the biggest rock and pop recordings ever made.
It is somewhere between these points that we can locate the enigma of Motore Immobile’s tremulous, spectral beauty. Adapting the exploratory and perfectionist techniques of major studios, experimental ensembles and the classical avant-garde, Pio and Battiato imperceptibly, tactfully separate sounds from their sources, effectively removing the centre of attention out into ostensibly simple drones which shimmer with an incredible richness of harmonic timbral detail, mingling in weightless dimensions with dreamlike vocals and hot streaks of violin that linger like shooting stars on a completely still, balmy night in the 17 minute title piece, whilst the proceeding Ananta follows that curve even more gradually on a bed of weightless, floating organ tones dusted with precise and spine-tingling flurries of keys.
This is music that suggests transcendence in the most unhurried, timeless manner; a centre-less sound that gently encompasses and encourages the listener to find their personal locus thru the process of infinite diffusion, or travelling without moving. There’s no higher praise we can give than to say it’s music best consumed with eyes shut for optimal results and back-of-eyelid geometric projections.
It's quite uncanny that Pio (b. 1926) passed this mortal coil on February 12th, 2017, only weeks before this reissue now makes its overdue return from obscurity and serves to assuredly place him within the Classical Minimalist firmament.