(New Album Review) Simon Balestrazzi- Ultrasonic Bathing Apparatus

Here’s one from March you hopefully did not miss: Ultrasonic Bathing Appartus, off Italy’s Sincope Recordings, is the latest offering from highly prolific Italian electro-acoustic/industrial veteran Simon Balestrazzi, an alumni of the eclectic experimenters T.A.C. as well as a long list of collaborations with Maurizio Bianchi, Phil Niblock, and Damo Suzuki, among many others.

Within the first few seconds of the low-frequency drone of the opener, “First Immersion”, the stage has been set for just under three-quarters of an hour of suffocating isolationist soundscapes. Though Sara Daresu’s tabletop guitar and Balestrazzi’s warbling voice (among other tools) add some scurrying, frantic textures to brief interludes like “Osmosis”, this sonic landscape is centered on the slow embrace of ominous lower-register sounds. Ultrasonic Bathing Apparatus could be the soundtrack to the final moments before an apocalypse, like the silence in the shadow of a tidal wave looming in the distance. Creepy musique-concrète of an epic scope, and certainly among the essential deep-listening of the year.

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