Review of Solo Andata [12k1056]

Headphone Commute (US)

Quietly chirping electronic engines are silenced by waves of bowed cello. The sound of rippling water drowned in drones of strings seeps through the title of “Hydraulic Fluctuations”. This is the dream world of Solo Andata – an Australian duo comprised of Paul Fiocco and Kane Ikin. Having previously released their debut, Fyris Swan (Hefty, 2006), the duo got picked up by 12k, and contributed a recording to Live In Melbourne (12k, 2008), appearing among tracks by Seaworthy, and label owner, Taylor Deupree. Solo Andata is their highly anticipated release for the New York minimal and ambient label, along with a mini booklet of 8-piece photography by Deupree himself, and precise mastering touch of Giuseppe Ielasi.

This is a warm album, covering you with a blanket of organic materials, natural field recordings, and swells of ambient soundscapes. The restraint and delicate touch within this production stops time, thought, and all of the pain. Solo Andata is the sensual reflexology for the mind. The track titles enhance the experience, hinting at captured moments like “In The Light Storming” and “Canal Rocks”, the latter featuring a recording of wind within a small alcove in Australia. The meditative nature of these pieces focuses the inner ear on within, while the outer contemplates without.

At the epicenter lies the focus of the album, “Look For Me Here”. This is the place that you reach after descending through the laid out paths of an early morning forest, quiet nights, and misty caves. This beautiful track is also available from the label as a single, with a remix by the above mentioned Giuseppe Ielasi and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Make sure to grab that one. And by the time “Loom” comes out with a crying cello by Louise McKay, you’re truly in love. Fans of Hildur Guðnadóttir will melt within.

Highly recommended for all wonders of 12k, above mentioned artists, plus Richard Skelton, Lawrence English, and Christopher Bissonnette. Bravo, 12k. Well done! This is a great catch, hold onto this one. I’m more than eager to follow the group along its intricately formed path, even if their way is only one way, the solo andata.

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