Boomkat Product Review:
Cucina Povera and Ben Vince’s debut full-length collaboration deploys an engrossing suite of noirish nocturnes based around Maria Rossi aka Cucina Povera’s muzzy vocal loops and Ben Vince’s accompaniments on saxophone, synth and piano. Born out of wonder, innocence and creative discovery, it’s the sound of two exploratory collaborators swimming into each other's ideas, from Terry Riley-esque transcendence to late-night sax swirls shrouding Rossi’s distinctive voice in dimly lit psychedelic smoke.
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 soundscapes that land somewhere between Grouper and Terry Riley.
As a newcomer to London, Rossi was caught up in a sort of wondrous reverie - a feeling that seeps through every movement of thia almost hour long album. Vince's plasmic echoes and Rossi's aerial delivery form a poetic union, twisting and painting each sound in pearlescent shades, finding a musical confluence between Rossi's words - fluid, dreamy, hazy ideations - and Vince's shadowy renditions.
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 the title tracx, where sickly, dissonant notes flicker like an almost-extinguished candle alongside motorised furniture music courtesy of a Disklavier.
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.