Boomkat Product Review:
Caterina Barbieri goes back to basics on 'Myuthafoo', a delirious companion to her iconic 'Ecstatic Computation' full-length that distorts woozy synth sequences with its own mystickal, musickal physics. If you're looking for more gear in the vein of fan fave 'Fantas', this one's a doozy.
When Barbieri was working on 'Ecstatic Computation' she developed a compositional technique that harmonized with her nomadic routine, going from performance to performance, perpetually moving from place to place. Far from a problematic period, she thought of it as an opportunity to trial new experiments and refine her process. During each show she would feed different sequences into her tailor-made modular system and let them either burst into life or descend into silence depending on the human response, treating the sounds like an extension of her ideas on cosmogony, the study of the universe's origins. Her music began to represent the evolution of life, something she leaned into as the music blossomed into not one but two albums. 'Myuthafoo' continues the story, immediately harking back to a time before its predecessor 'Spirit Exit' when it explodes into opening track 'Memory Leak' with a firework display of saw wave swoops and and reverberating backmasked trance arpeggios.
'Math of You' follows by assembling Barbieri's well-honed lattice of kosmische blips for the stadium, not the back room. Tripping over themselves intentionally, each melodic phrase whirls and wavers into the Italian composer's well-established sonic backdrop, forming earworms that sound triumphant, melancholy and psychedelic at once. We can hear traces of Manuel Göttsching and Paul Van Dyk as well as Lorenzo Senni and Barker, but Barbieri uses these memories and creative through-lines to light a fire underneath a sound that's so brimming with character that it's impossible to confuse with anyone else's. The title track slows things to a crawl, stretching over seven minutes and allowing us to peer closer at Barbieri's process and concentrate on the moments between the notes as they echo into the void, while 'Alphabet of Light' quiets her sound into a lullaby of blunted tones that provide a soft couch for her boisterous leads.
'Sufyosowirl' though is the album's most incendiary moment, an unashamedly upfront chatter of melodic electronics that's only missing a laser show and dry ice. It's these moments that remind us that Barbieri is establishing a space for herself as one of the world's most recognizable and reliable modular superstars. Even when she's wrestling with heady themes like algorithmic composition or cosmic philosophy, she's still able to write absolute bangers. Respect, tbh.