Boomkat Product Review:
Tranquil, balmy ambient-jazz flair from Sydney, AU’s Santilli, pairing webs of guitar and synths with rippling, breezy percussive suss for the latest from Into The Light’s International series
“Into The Light Records takes us to Sydney and the dreamy, softly spun musical world of talented multi-instrumentalist Max Santilli. “Surface” is Santilli’s debut album following years spent working alongside Jacob Fugar in Ken Oath Records-signed downtempo duo Angophora. It draws on a personal archive of home recordings made between 2016 and 2018 using a range of guitars, synthesizers and acoustic percussion instruments.
As you’d perhaps expect, it’s an intimate and hugely personal set that wraps drowsy, slowly shifting musical flourishes around gentle, sun-kissed rhythms and suitably spacey chords. Santilli offers subtle nods towards his various inspirations – think the mesmerizing ambient-jazz fusion of Michael Bierylo, Steve Hillage’s timeless early ambient works and the intricate acoustic guitar playing of Steve Tibbetts and Miguel Herrero – while forging his own distinctly lo-fi and otherworldly path. As a result, “Surface” is an album of impressive depth and diversity, held together by Santilli’s reflective, emotion-rich vision.”