Like fish, Matteo Uggeri’s “Untitled Winter” LP is brain food. And like a fish, it travels through an ocean of ultramundane frequencies. The instruments and their players – Uggeri plays trumpet, while an illustrious list is to be found on the Scissor Tail Editions Bandcamp – swim amongst the type of meditative, floaty state that none of us ever really feel, and it makes for a fascinating listen.
A key component of Uggeri’s ensemble’s success is that they utilise space as an onion, unwrapping layers of flummoxed pacing and graceful re-shaping of the source material. A track may stop on a chord and repeat a while, or it may drastically careen away from its original intent in a blink of a second. This never-knowing, never pre-ordained sequencing is very refreshing and intriguing, as if you’ve not heard anything quite like it. The roots are in rotting improv music – sparse lines cohering into a bigger whole; a steak left to fester its bacteria in the midday sun, like no-one else wanted it in its past life. Much of the importance held by the listener on Uggeri’s non-compositonal, instrument playing contribution becomes righted in eigth track, “Untitled III”, where he hums out spellbinding trumpet moxie that unravels over sounds of footsteps and the nearby wind.
The percussion piece that follows, “Solfeggio No 33” sees synthesiser being added to the brew of previous viola, cello, guitar and piano (work 2 is a seeming tribute to “Spiegel Im Spiegel” by contemporary classical composer Arvo Part, being aptly titled “Spiegel Ics Spiegel”). It’s one of the most immediately digestible tracks on the release, harmonising with ambient’s will ‘o the wisp, genteel droning and extra-generific potion summoning. It would also appear, like aquamarine mammals, that Matteo favours metamorphosis over set ways, a sorcerer with a bent to extemporise the present. “Tender Is The Night”, the closing cut is barely there, a field recording of setting down something or another; pen on a table; footsteps on study floor. It marks the mood of the record in an inscripted ink, but unlike a fish of jelly, the movements of this album are never a stinging sensation. Winter is welcoming for once.