“Lanificio Leo” reviewed by Merchants of Air

Machines are fascinating musicians. Tirelessly they can produce the same rhythm for years on end. Sometimes I wonder about the first machines and the noises they made. Didn’t people recognize the repetitive cadance? Did they dance to it? Did industrial music originate from, well, the industry? Over the years field recording and experimental artists have been recording and looping mechanical sounds from machines all over the world. Often, the results are stunning in all their simplicity.

From the biography: Lanificio Leo is the result of field recording sessions made by Attilio Novellino
and Saverio Rosi in August of 2013 at the woolen mill, “Leo”, the oldest textile factory active in Calabria (Italy). This factory is equipped with several 19th century machines. Being this old, the machines have tiny flaws and produce some little variations in their timbre and rhythm. Yet, it’s these little errors that make them sound like musicians.

This release actually constists of two parts. Part 1 shows the raw, unedited recordings of the machines themselves. Somehow you can compare this with the tracks on ‘Symphony For Dot Matrix Printers’ by The User and even some ‘sounds of industry’ sample cds. The overall sound is quite industrial, repetitive and mechanical, which is not really a surprise of course. However, as an industrial ambient release, this is quite pleasing to listen to.

Part 2 is a composition using the same recordings as a basis. These elements are being processed, both analog and digitally, to create one long track. Surprisingly, part two is a bit noisier and creepier than its predecessors. Yet, it too has this allround experimental ambient feel that is always welcome in this household. Even more, it inspires me to use similar sounds for ambient productions myself.

To conclude, this is an interesting album for anyone who’s into experimental ambient, field recordings and other weird genres. The repetitive nature of these machines makes this music a nice rhythmic background sound for everyday activities. However, I guess, as a listener, you have to possess an experimental character to truly enjoy this album. Most people will probably never notice the musical genius in other things than instruments but if you do, the world sounds a lot more interesting…


via Merchants of Air