Boomkat Product Review:
Rupert Clervaux reaches the fourth edition of his ambitious Giacomo Leopardi-inspired audio diary project, splicing philosophical-political vocal snippets with haunted instrumentation, clipped rhythmic experimentation, frothed club constructions, spannered trip-hop and sozzled acid. Musically eye-opening gear from a voracious explorer.
Published posthumously in 1898, the "Zibaldone di pensieri" is a seven-part set of ideas, criticisms, notes and philosophical observations from Italian poet and essayist Giacomo Leopardi. London-based producer, composer and engineer Clervaux - who's worked with everyone from Beatrice Dillon and Space Afrika to Spring Heel Jack and The Radiophonic Workshop - has used these influential texts as the touchpaper for a series of records that intend to make similar artistic moves.
Unlike the first three volumes, "Zibaldone IV..." doesn't have a particular theme, and bounds from place to place with mischievous, exploratory energy. The jagged selection of tracks - moody jazzbient opener 'Mutual Aid', psychedelic kick-led floor-filler 'Simple Food for Our Simple Taste', low-slung haunted library sizzler 'Does Pop Culture Interest You?' etc - are encoded with ideas that are intended to allow us to sketch our own narrative. It's a trap though - while culture may be fixated on narrative (and even worse, text), it's more invigorating to absorb 'Zibaldone IV...' like a set of images.
Each sketch feels loose enough to be constructed from impressionistic splashes of color (blues, greens and watery grays on the moody 'Departure from England'; reds, purples and sparked yellows on 'Chatsworth ’17 (BVCVX)') rather than strict, gridded lattices of DAW-locked monotone. It's refreshing to hear music approached in this way - un-precious but not unskilled, and laced with hidden messages.