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artist:
Solyaris
country of origin:
Italy
style(s):
Ambient, experimental guitar, loops, process music
essential releases:
Cellardoor (2006, Solyaris Music)
Ascension and Revelation (2006 Solyaris Music)

 

Reviewed by Mike G

 

Being a fan of the guitar I'm well familiar with the creative potential of delay effects, having waxed ears on the early music of Pink Floyd and Fripp & Eno in my teens. In the digital age, however, the combo of guitar and delay has reached into whole new realms that ambient composers like Robert Rich have been exploring for some time now.

Which brings us to the enveloping music of Italian composer Giorgio Robino aka Solyaris, a self-published artist whose style matured beautifully on these, his third and forth albums. On first listen you could swear that these drone-based pieces come from from organ and synth with tinkling guitar and harp overlays. But no, its all from electric guitar and a 6-string lap steel guitar treated with delay effects in a myriad of ways.

Over five long, beatless tracks Cellardoor floats, morphs, glistens and glitters. Its simultaneously up in the stratosphere and submerged womb-like beneath the surface of a calm, warm ocean. Even the most identifiable guitar sounds - plucked and rippling strings and the liquid slide of the pedal steel - are themselves multi-layered. These abstract tracks slowly and very subtly change in emphasis, giving the music enough variety to tickle your brain as the single-chord drones almost imperceptibly surge and sigh around you. Ascension and Revelation charts similar territory to the prevous album except that it's essentially an unbroken 78 minute piece. Again, the music appears to be almost wholly static until you submerge yourself deep enough into the textures.

Robino's music virtually glows with a soft, alien light. It's fitting that the artist's pseudonym is Solyaris because the music bears an unmistakable resemblance to Cliff Martinez's luminous score for Steven Soderbergh's brilliant sci-fi film Solaris (2002). Not completely original ambience, then, but disarming and very beautiful nonetheless.

 

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