Boomkat Product Review:
Cochlea-kissing and deeply hypnagogic ambient nuance from Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti’s cultishly prized Bellows duo - one of Italy’s finest ambient/experimental projects - now crossing paths with Oren Ambarchi’s vital Black Truffle label.
Rendering them at almost dark jazz and chamber-like angles, the masterfully poised tone of their 5th album ‘Undercurrent’ marks Bellows first outing since 2017’s ‘Strand’ for Shelter Press and our own Editions label before that. In eight parts this one renders their formula of textured small-sound detailing and plangent sferic timbres at their most elusive and atmospheric, conjuring a proper sleepwalker’s sound that resonates with the quietest reaches of Japanese ambient/avant garde, Andrew Chalk at his most sanguine, and even Actress at his most sullen, worn-out, while also making the rest of the neo-ambient sphere sound frantic in contrast to their slumbering pace.
‘Undercurrent’ is the sort of record that perhaps sounds best in midnight stillness, very slowly seeping into your surroundings to create a barely-there yet cocooning ambience that’s hard not to let yourself get wrapped up in. From their opener’s sallow bass licks and sibilant thizz, to mouth-watering floating harmonics and their exquisite manipulations of high register tones that sound like a silent TV playing from rooms away; it’s almost hard to believe that actual people were involved with the making of ‘Undercurrent’. It all feels more like the work of spirits coming out to play their melancholic instrumental blooz for the dust mites and spiders that dangle in your alcoves.