Boomkat Product Review:
London’s abundant waterways and parks provide an oneiric muse for Cucina Povera and Ben Vince’s resounding debut full-length collaboration, an engrossing suite of weightless sax, synth and disklavier-bedded, noirish nocturnes that land somewhere between Grouper and Terry Riley. In other words - a total percy.
Centred around Maria Rossi aka Cucina Povera’s muzzy vocal loops and the faintest melodic motifs, London-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Vince accompanies on saxophone, synth and piano, shrouding Rossi's vocals in swirls of dimly lit psychedelic smoke. As a newcomer to London, Rossi was "caught up in a sort of wondrous overwhelm” - a feeling that seeps through every movement of the almost hour long album. Working mostly at the Roundhouse, the pair find a musical confluence between Rossi's words - "fluid, dreamy, hazy ideations" - and Vince's shadowy renditions.
Vince's plasmic echoes and Rossi's aerial delivery form a poetic union, twisting and painting each sound in pearlescent shades. Rossi's folk roots shine through like cracks of dawn sunlight on 'Sumu Puistossa' ("fog in the park"), reverberating over organ and dream-zone sax; her words tip into muted surrealism thanks to the controlled chaos of Vince's bleak treatments. His grasp of jazz is transfixing: bending sax motifs like ghostly memories of music from another timeline, smudging them into the soundfield. It’s most effective on 'Siellä Näen Kaiken' ("there I see everything"), where sickly, dissonant notes flicker like an almost-extinguished candle alongside motorised furniture music courtesy of a Disklavier.
Born out of wonder, daydreaming innocence and creative discovery, 'There I See Everything ‘ is the sound of two exploratory collaborators swimming into each other's ideas. From the Terry Riley-esque transcendence of '∞' to the sacred incantation of long-form closer 'Pikku Muurahaiskeko' ("little anthill"), the pair expose a new layer of creativity with each turn, gradually zooming out from discreet, vulnerable beauty to encompass a gently orchestrated chaos of sustained, sublime tension.