Boomkat Product Review:
Italian small-sound maestro Nicola Ratti adds a fine new string to his bow in collaboration with Japanese rapper MA, landing in a curious spot between aspects of Tricky, Mica Levi/Curl, DJ Hide’s Ryu project, or even Senyawa
The follow-up to Ratti’s prized ‘Pressure Loss’ (WTNLP04, 2016) sees MA match his languorous contours and offset quarks with twisted wordplay that weaves in and about the music’s subatomic structures, infiltrating the spaces between with an amorphous range of voices. It’s a sort of distant cousin to ‘90s trip hop experiments, arranged with 20 odd years of experimental hip hop lingering in Ratti’s airy, spongiform production - ideal for lowlit and smoked out situations.
Longterm followers of Ratti’s style will surely recognise the vibe, but never quite like this. We’d never noticed before, but the aerated mid-range space in his sound provides ample room for MA to occupy, carrying over the haunted experiments of his introductory ‘AMA’ side with Rabih Beaini’s Morphine into even more abstract territory. Unfortunately we haven’t a clue what he’s saying, but that doesn’t matter as it’s really best absorbed on a textural/spatial level in a way that strongly recalls our reception of RYU’s ‘Ga’ album 20 years ago, but updated with a more disorienting, hypnagogic appeal that also resonates with Mica Levi’s frayed beats for Brother May, and the atmosphere of Tricky at his muggiest.