GM006 AQUA DORSA "Cloudlands"

 First Review

This is a new name, well at least to me it is. Behind Aqua Dorsa we find Italy's well-known master of all thing very ambient Oophoi and a new name, Enrico Coniglio. The latter gets credit for guitars, synthesizers, programming and sampling, while Oophoi takes control of synthesizers, piano, percussion, waterphone, chimes, singing bowls, theremin, programming and sampling. Seeing this being released by Glacial Movements, a label who announce themselves as 'ambient' and 'isolationist', and taken Oophoi's previous output in account, you know which direction this. This is ambient music but then with a little bit more, and no doubt Coniglio is the man responsible for that extra bite. Not simply satisfied with 'just' ambient synthesizer textures, there is an addition from the world of microsound to this. Underneath the warm tapestries are woven of synthesizers playing sustained textured sounds, but the icing (pun intended) on the cake comes from the crackles, buzz and hiss that are on top
of this. That makes that this music moves out of the usual ambient field, and blends together ambient and microsound, while, because its not entirely generated in the digital realm, its not entirely ambient glitch either. A marriage that works wonderfully well, I'd say. Deep atmospheric textures, icy glitches on top. Maybe the album as a whole is a bit long. One long track could have easily been skipped to make the album even a bit stronger, where it now is a bit too much of the same here and there. But its a fine altogether. (FdW)

Vital Weekly 683

Second Review

I feel like I'm in trapped some sort of ambient corner here sometimes. I appear to have become the office ambient beard without even realising! Well here's a CD of 'ambience' by Aqua Dorsa who are a couple of chilled out Italian dudes from all account. You know my brother in law was calling both his wife and child dude the other day. It must have been very confusing for them.... Anyway one of these Italians is Oophoi who is a reasonably well known ambient lord and if you've not heard his work then you should check it out. A couple of minutes into this and there's some beats and all sorts of stuff going on. In fact it reminds me a lot of when I first heard ambient music back in the late 80's when it was essentially just slowed down and more chilled out techno. There used to be a lot more going on in ambient music than you get these days. Cloudlands is one of those 'interesting' ambient albums and it harks back to those times where more shit was happening on the stereo and it's not just a long drawn out piece of music based around a whale farting. Well worth a punt!

Norman Records

Third Review

Cloudlands is the collaborative result of two Italian musicians of the ambient scene - Gianluigi Gasparetti, known as Oophoi and Enrico Coniglio. Unlike the dark and isolationist tendency of most editions from this fine Roman label, this CD shows an ethereal and atmospheric sound that you can guess by its title. The seven tracks of Cloudlands are based on warm drones, often accompanied by metallic bowls and chimes that seem touched by the breeze, with glitches and clicks a bit all over the place, but with great economy of means and a never saturated sound. "Zero Gravity" induces an unhealthy lethargy, evolving in a way that leaves behind the sound elements until there is no more than remaining silence. But it is emblematic of Cloudlands album by its construction at different sound layers, the transparency and depth they have, preserving a complete sharpness. On the other way, "Syhan" is a track that unfolds in four significantly different parts, according the loops and samples which they include. As for "Alone In The Rising Fog", the album's longest track, it is also the most crepuscular, with a mechanical tone and the occasional passage of human figures that suggest the future that never happened - not that future glimpsed through the transcontinental zeppelins of the Thirties, but the a far more daunting future given by the character of Robur, a Jules Verne creation at the end of nineteenth century. Cloudlands is, in short, an album of electronic music that sounds organic, virtually without beats, where the sound of the guitar, the piano, the bowed instruments, and the distant voices, transport the listener to a place without time, into a diffuse dream, where the open spaces of ambient are composed (or decomposed) into particles of microsound. A unique and successful approach, which is the great achievement of this AquaDorsa's CD. (distorsom)


Fourth Review

Fifth Review

Nella sua nuova uscita, la Glacial Movements – etichetta curata da Alessandro “Netherwold” Tedeschi e improntata all’isolazionismo ambientale – conferma l’alternanza delle sue produzioni tra illustri “ospitate” di artisti ben rinomati (basti ricordare Lull e Rapoon) e occasioni per dare spazio e risalto a giovani italiani che perseguono con passione le loro esplorazioni di territori sonori tanto impervi quanto affascinanti.
Quest’ultimo è proprio il caso del progetto AquaDorsa, che sancisce sotto unica denominazione l’incontro tra le profonde immersioni nei drone da parte di Oophoi e le soluzioni elettroacustiche dell’artista veneziano Enrico Coniglio.
Due mondi diversi, ancorché affini, stabiliscono in “Cloudlands” un contatto che restituisce le esperienze dei suoi due artefici rielaborate in ben oltre un’ora di musica, ispirata dall’ormai abituale immaginario “ghiacciato”, ma stavolta caratterizzata da variazioni strumentali e persino ritmiche finora quasi del tutto sconosciute alle produzioni dell’etichetta romana.
Benché i rispettivi percorsi d’origine dei due artisti siano chiaramente distinguibili, l’album tutto sembra fuorché una loro sommatoria meccanica, inteso com’è a creare una sorta di tertium genus tra l’uniformità stratiforme di drone evanescenti e puntelli elettroacustici percorsi da fremiti irregolari.
Loop e iterazioni ondeggianti si rincorrono, soprattutto nella prima parte dell’album, scolorando spesso in raffinatezze ambientali non aliene da un sottile romanticismo (“A Pillow Of Clouds”) e pervase da uno spirito cosmico più spesso denso e incantato che non ottundente.
È ben vero che, in particolare nelle lunghe “Zero Gravity” e “Alone In The Risng Fog”, riaffiorano ibernati paesaggi dark-ambient, pennellati da modulazioni avviluppate da una nebbia inestricabile; tuttavia, le note salienti che connotano “Cloudlands” quale opera significativa nella stessa discografia della Glacial Movements, sono rappresentate dalla miriade di battiti e crepitii che in pezzi quali “Daylight Fading Into Evening Silence”, “The Pond Reflected Her Smile” e “Syhan” (quest’ultima si segnala anche per una sorprendente citazione dalla Penguin Café Orchestra) deviano verso quello stile compositivo screziato e volutamente discontinuo che riecheggia numerose produzioni elettroacustiche giapponesi, quali ad esempio quelle dell’etichetta Audio Dregs.
Allo stesso modo, anche il finale dell’album sembra dischiudere nuovi e più accessibili orizzonti alla stasi di flussi sonori costanti, attraverso più espliciti accenti su arrangiamenti che sanno tanto di esito liberatorio di un’ora abbondante di lavorio sul dialogo tra synth e chitarre, tra pianoforte, theremin e un’infinta costellazione di samples ed effetti.
Realizzato con la cura indispensabile per opere di tale natura, “Cloudlands” delinea con sostanziale successo una propria interpretazione del bilanciamento tra oscure texture ambientali e irregolari screziature elettroacustiche; pregevole dal primo punto di vista, vagamente più standardizzato dal secondo, l’album riesce comunque a coniugare i suoi elementi secondo uno stile che desta ancora piacevole sorpresa veder realizzato da parte di artisti italiani.
di Raffaello Russo


Sixth Review

AquaDorsa is a new duo collaboration between Italians Enrico Coniglio and Oophi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) and there first release Cloudlands fits in perfectly with Glacial Movements auteristic stamp, offering the listener a methodical but subtly emotional journey into crystalline, isolationist ambience that is wondrously, and at times, very intelligently evocative of all things Antarctic.

Across 7 immersive tracks, the duo rework their fundamental instrumentation (which includes piano, guitar, synth pads and minimal glitch textures) into an unrecognisable mass, synthesising these binary elements into a concentrated and delicately unfolding sound which, at times, perfectly mirrors the mise-en-scene of the glacial environment. Each cut of Cloudlands, it seems, is meticulously crafted to ensure this.

The dub-like saturated tones of 'A Pillow of Clouds' open the album, and as each note melds into another above seditary glitch textures and sine waves, the processed sound of what sounds like a clarinet is gently revealed like ice being melted by shafts of glorious sunlight before it dominates the song and locks into a minimal grove, echoing 'Grinning Cat' era Susumu Yokota. 'Daylight Fading into Evening Silence' is as aptly titled as its predecessor and lulls the listener with rising warm synth swells and digital hisses which rise and fall like fogged breath, eventually coinciding with snaps of dry glitch beats. With 'The Pond Reflected Her Smile', AquaDorsa begin to explore their sound in more depth (each consecutive track passes the ten-minute mark), centred around a simple string melody that is slowly explored, pulled and processed to reveal an evolving variety of tones inherent in the sample, under pinned by subtle granular electronics that sound like snow trampled underfoot.

The following piece in, comparison, is purely textural and are more in line with the Glacial Movements signature 'dark ambient' sound. 'Zero Gravity' barely includes any melody at all, safe for a ghostly loop at the start of the composition which quickly dissipates, replaced by ominous throbs of deep synth, detuned percussion and icicle like sines. These experimentations spill over into 'Syhan', which begins with a gloom drenched organ, recreated to sound like a ghostly moan, before the duo begin to reintroduce the warmth found on the opening three pieces with a similar combination of blissful melodies and concentrated digital manipulation, a sound clearly influenced by the ‘pop-meets-glitch’ template of Taylor Deupree’s 12k records. The albums closer, ‘Night of Trembling Stars’, offers much of the same, although contains the first definable use of Coniglio’s guitar, bending and counting colourful miasmas of effect drenched piano.

By far the most interesting cut on Cloudlands is the 18 min epic 'Alone in the Rising Fog'. Like 'Zero Gravity', the duo return to strictly contouring sound in a meticulously evolving piece that calls to mind both Thomas Koner and Steve Roach. Dealing exclusively in submarinal atmospherics, deep swathes of granular synthesisers and distilled electronic pulses, save for a few injections of distant melancholic melodies, this track is an exercise in methodical sound sculpture. The tidal waves of atmospheres exactingly illuminate the rich sonic pallete of the duo, with each element of the composition explored thoroughly and treated with a cold detachment, as expected of an album that aims to capture the essence of the unforgiving Antarctic plains.

At times, Cloudlands can border on the predictable; specifically in their employment of melody which is nostalgic of a host other ambient releases, but its their inventiveness and effectiveness when with dealing their chosen concept, that elevates the album above a slew of like-minded releases. Cloudlands definitely benefits from an attentive listen for its magisterial riches to be fully absorbed, particularly true of the longest piece in which repeated listens is fully advised. That said, the opening two tracks, in there manageable lengths, prepare the listener for the 10 min plus excursions that follow, only helped by the accessibility of their lush harmonies and should therefore appeal to those with less experience in similar music. Listen through a good pair of headphones or in bed during the deep of night, both will suite AquaDoras’s effort beautifully. A fine edition to an already celebrated label. (David McLean)

For fans of: Steve Roach, Thomas Koner, William Basinski, Alva Noto’s Xerrox Series, Susumu Yokota, Stars of the Lid, Biosphere, Taylor Deupree, Fourcolor, Christopher Willits + Ryuichi Sakamoto, Svarte Greiner


Eight Review

За новым названием «AquaDorsa» скрывается Джанлуиджи Гаспаретти, более известный как «Oophoi», и его менее именитый коллега Энрико Кониглио, имеющий за плечами два альбома и пару сетевых релизов. Вооружившись множеством сэмплов, живых инструментов (гитары, поющие чаши, флейты и прочая экзотика) и синтезаторов, новоявленный дуэт представил музыку, как и должно следовать из названия альбома, воздушную и медитативную, не лишенную, однако, характерных приемов различных стилей экспериментальной музыки, таких, как IDM, например. Нахождение слов «Oophoi» и «IDM» в рецензии на одно и то же произведение не должно изумлять – да, стараниями Энрико мерцающие звуковые миражи и плавно утекающие в вечность созвучия дополнены различными щелчками, шуршаниями, обрывками голосов или целыми фразами, выловленными из эфира. Сложно оценить необходимость подобных заигрываний со стилями – в титанических гудящих монолитах сольного творчества Гаспаретти все эти элементы явно были бы лишними, но в рамках «AquaDorsa» представлены гораздо более простые и понятные вариации на тему эмбиента. Мягкая, неуловимая музыка, легкая для понимания, не нагружающая, местами расслабляющая, местами приятно удивляющая своей разнообразностью – вот что такое «Cloudlands». Можно рассматривать композиции этого альбома как отчет о путешествии, которое стартует из шума мегаполиса и помогает подняться все выше и выше, за границы атмосферы, навстречу темному космосу. Наибольшее сосредоточение космического вакуума можно наблюдать в «Zero Gravity», треке глубоком, затягивающем, с разреженными плавными звуками, под конец медленно растворяющимися в пространстве, и звоном колокола, доносящегося сквозь толщу воды. Обратное путешествие на землю проходит под сэмпл с партией пианино, взятого с одной из композиций «Penguin Café Orchestra» в окружении уже привычных щелчков. Еще одна глубочайшая вещь альбома – «Alone In The Rising Fog», просто таки растворяющая в себе, при этом в состояние транса она вводит не скупыми перемещениями электронных слоев, а своей многогранностью, четко выстроенными элементами. Финал – еще одна «живая» инструментальная партия, на сей раз импровизация Кониглио на гитаре, монотонные переборы струн которой красиво ложатся на легкую и атмосферную мелодию и различные голоса. 
Альбом местами страдает, пожалуй, слишком стандартным использованием элементов – действительно, подобные построения шипящих, щелкающих и шуршаших звуков, аналогичную работу с сэмплами можно услышать на огромном количестве композиций самых разных музыкантов. Зато в целом «Cloudlands» очень хорош, красив, его разнообразные и интересные треки приятно ложится на слух. Стоит услышать.


Nineth Review

Nuova interessante uscita per l'italiana Glacial Movements, label sempre intenta a produrre lavori relazionati all'ambient isolazionista e alle latitudini più fredde. Il sesto capitolo dell'etichetta di Alessandro Tedeschi vede il debutto del duo nostrano Aqua Dorsa, nato dall'unione tra il chitarrista e compositore Enrico Coniglio e Gianluigi Gasparetti, artisticamente celebre come Oöphoi. Le musiche di "Cloudlands" prendono forma tramite l'utilizzo sia di strumenti classici, come la chitarra e il piano, che di sintetizzatori e altri macchinari elettronici di nuova e vecchia generazione, come il theremin. L'ampio parco strumentale è utilizzato per creare ambientazioni fortemente legate alla natura glaciale, attraverso sette brani soggetti a variazioni stilistiche e uniti da una calma serafica, scaturita da modalità compositive leggermente diverse a seconda dell'occorrenza. A tal proposito svetta il brano "Syhan", arricchito da un sample di piano estratto da un album della Penguin Cafè Orchestra. Ma ciò che balza maggiormente all'orecchio è la scansione ritmica della maggior parte dei pezzi, eseguita con uno squisito approccio glitch. In pratica vengono immerse piccole schegge di rumore analogico mai invadente, all'interno delle grandi masse sonore d'atmosfera, quasi a spezzarne la maestosità o a romperne il lento movimento. L'essenza dell'album è tutta qui: una colonna sonora finalizzata a commentare le terre più fredde, dove le nubi si fondono col mare in un religioso silenzio, ponte tra l'ascoltatore e una natura che non riusciremmo nemmeno ad immaginare. La resa audio è ottima, così come la confezione digipak, arricchita dalla solita, magnifica immagine di copertina, spiegazione impeccabile di quanto possiamo ascoltare nel CD. Perfetto come sottofondo per un relax da sogno, vista anche la sua vicinanza (mutatis mutandis) con la musica new age, ma utilizzabile anche come commento video. Sebbene sia indirizzato ad un pubblico selezionato, nel suo genere "Cloudlands" è un disco di primo livello. - Michele Viali


Tenth Review

Brilliantly perfect, is what arrives to my hands recently through Glacial Movements...An in deep vibrational ambient soundscapes developed through Italian project consisting of two creative spirits in the shapes of Enrico Coniglio,a guitar player and composer which through time has been recognized due the nature of its art through post-urban and post-industrial territory. Its development here is just amazing, through the well performed use of guitars, synthesizers, programing, sampling and more yet to be discover. at the other side we have the shape of GianLuigi Gasparetti, known as Oophoi who has been involved in alot of projects, releases in the fields of deep ambient soundscapes, emerging into his own world searching new lights through this collaborative project AQUADORSA.he appears in all his own splendor though diverse use of elements such as piano, percussions, waterphone, chimes, singing bowls, theremin, programing and sampling in most of the tracks. Really an interesting fusion developed here. The album includes a total of 7 compositions in which the majestic, in deep structures seems to catch you to such desolated icy textures through tracks as "A pillow Of Clouds" or "Daylight Fading Into Evening silence" which are the first two tracks. Then comes, "The Pond Reflected Her Smile" an in deep voyage to the center of nothing, though vast cold eerie structures and clitches aborting from time to time, dressed with such vast atmospheres filled with such monumental desolated elements. "Zero Gravity" is structured through such ethereal soundcapes,chimes and other devices which start to mutates within the whole minutes creating hybrid spaces crawling from each one of the almost 11 minutes of this composition. Another track is “Syhan" still keeping such sensitive, expressionism handled through ambient soundscapes with some voices as background of the track. This track is so calm and fragile but with the necessary power to be fell by yourself when deeply listening each one of the different facets reflected here. "Alone In The Rising Fog" is longer track with almost 19 minutes of deep explorations of sounds and structures collapsing themselves to create ghastly atmospheres with such cold soundscapes floating through the whole composition. Finally the album is closed with "Night Of Trembling Stars" another in deep composition in which both artists develops all its creativity and imaginative reflections into calm, dimensional soundscapes able to transport you to such regions still to be discovered by human eye. the album comes in a beautiful digipack and for more info just visit the Glacial Movement page in order to get more about this ethereal and atmospheric ambient Italian act AQUADORSA.

PAN.O.RA.MA Audio/Visual/Web Journal

Eleventh Review

The sixty-seven minute Cloudlands documents the first collaboration between AquaDorsa partners Enrico Coniglio and Oophoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti), the former known for the Psychonavigation releases AREAVIRUS - topofonie vol.1 and dyanMU, and the latter admired for analog-based ambient work issued on Hypnos and Glacial Movements, among others. In keeping with the experimental spirit of those Coniglio releases, Cloudlands opts for atmospheres that are not only tranquil but turbulent. To create the seven orchestral-ambient soundscapes, the two draw upon a broad palette of sounds with guitars, synthesizers, piano, percussion, waterphone, chimes, singing bowls, Theremin, and samples the source materials used.

Some of the material adheres pretty closely to the ambient-electronic template. In “Daylight Fading into Evening Silence,” for example, lush synth pads and micro-percussive accents combine to create pretty much what one expects from the ambient-electronic genre: sonic atmosphere so tranquil it verges on somnolent. The turbulent and unsettling set-piece “Alone in the Rising Fog” serves up eighteen minutes of creeping noises and ghostly whooshes that evoke the anxious experience of someone lost in the fog and desperately struggling to catch his/her bearings. In other settings, though, the duo offset the genre's customary tranquility by scattering percussive pebbles across the tracks' smooth surfaces: static pops and piano plinks pepper the synthetic tones that stretch out languorously across “The Pond Reflected Her Smile,” and rhythm textures of vinyl static and subtle sounds of singing bowls counter the tinkling chimes and ethereal tones that dominate “Zero Gravity.” In “A Pillow of Clouds,” the lonely call of an oboe-like instrument is heard amidst swathes of vaporous synthesis, and an insistent beat pattern surfaces near track's end, lending the material a heft not typically heard in an ambient project. In the album's boldest departure, “Syhan” distances itself from the strict ambient template by adding a skeletal, slow-motion beat pattern and garbled voice sample to its pretty piano theme (the part sampled from Penguin Café Orchestra's “Red Shorts”) and crystalline atmospheres. A discernible escalation in intensity and episodic shift transpires too during the piece's twelve-minute running time, a narrative move that further separates it from the even-tempered stasis of the prototypical ambient setting. Cloudlands ultimately registers as a varied collection that in subtle and satisfying ways shakes up the ambient soundscaping template without betraying its fundamental character. - Written by Ron Schepper,August 2009


Twelve Review


Thirteen Review

From the Italian underground comes this exceptional ambient collaboration between Enrico Coniglio and Gianluigi Gasparetti (aka Oophoi). Inspired by German electronic music of the 1970s Gasparetti entered the deep ambient field in 1995 with impressive recordings made with analogue synths like the Cluster classics, in a stone building in the country. For his part, guitar player and composer Coniglio has collaborated with many artists, including Nicola Alesini, Elisa Marzorati, and Cluster's maestro Joachim Roedelius. Together as Aquadorsa the duo dance around the divide of stillness and glitch, like a contemporary remix of Eno's Apollo soundtrack prepared in the free floating environment of zero gravity. Over the kind of slow, spacious synth themes heard on Oophoi's releases, Coniglio disturbs the peace with vinyl clicks, sonar bleeps and high whistling oscillations. Still an overall calm pervades, despite the distractions from the landscape of the industrial age. Visit the 'oophoidrones' page at myspace for a five-track preview of this wonderful change of pace.

Review by Chris Twomey - CORRIERE CANADESE

Fourteen Review

Au-delà de ses travaux solo, dont on a déjà dit ici le plus grand bien, Enrico Coniglio est également actif au sein du duo AquaDorsa qu’il forme avec Oöphoi (pseudonyme de Gianluigi Gasparetti. Pour leur première sortie, les Italiens sont accueillis par un label que l’on découvre aussi pour l’occasion : Glacial Movements Records, structure romaine dont on reparlera prochainement puisqu’un album de Marsen Jules y est annoncé.

Faites de nappes, de quelques micro-pulsations et d’interventions réduites de guitares, les compositions du duo s’épanouissent dans une ambient d’une étonnante profondeur et d’un caractère évocateur certain que la pochette (avec cette étendue type « mer de glace ») et les intitulés des morceaux (A Pillow of Clouds, Daylight Fading Into Evening Silence, Alone in the Rising Fog ou Night of Trembling Stars) laissaient entrevoir. Pour ce faire, theremin, bols tibétains, rivière et autres percussions sont utilisés par Oöphoi tandis que les programmations électroniques varient entre tapotements et sons à la limite du larsen. Quand ces éléments synthétiques sont les seuls convoqués (Syhan, Alone in the Rising Fog), les Italiens ne se distinguent que trop peu du reste des productions de ce genre (celles que l’on croise sur 12k, par exemple).

En revanche, donc, lorsque soit des percussions, soit un synthé, soit des samples vocaux sont employés (Night of Trembling Stars), AquaDorsa se fait nettement plus convaincant et ce sont bien évidemment ces passages que l’on préfèrera conserver en mémoire et que le duo conviendra de développer davantage à l’avenir.

François Bousquet , le 7/08/2009


Fifteen Review

Emmené par les Italiens Gianluigi Gasparetti et Enrico Coniglio, le projet Aquadorsa emmène cette nouvelle publication du label Glaical Movements sur de nouveaux sentiers de découverte boréale. En introduisant notamment une variété instrumentale et un sens de l’orchestration d’une rare préciosité pour une musique aussi confinée.On connaissait déjà le goût du label italien Glacial Movements, cornaqué par Alessandro Tedeschi, pour les ambiances glacées, pour les climats atmosphériques et électroniques cristallisant comme la neige de la banquise au soleil, et révélant des trésors d’évanescence embuée, sorte de congères monolithiques aux sonorités frissonnantes. Avec ce Cloudlands , réalisé par son duo de compatriotes Aquadorsa, la recette septentrionale maison prend un tour de main supplémentaire, plongeant son autarcie cryogénisée rampante dans une dimension instrumentale, voire par moments orchestrale (écoutez bien les arrangements, emplis pourtant parfois d’une retenue aux portes de l’inaudible, d’un morceau comme “Zero gravity”), rarement atteinte. La principale explication repose dans la grande variété de sources, et l’extrême complémentarité, des deux musiciens cachés derrière cette œuvre. D’un côté le multi instrumentiste Gianluigi Gasparetti, connu depuis le milieu des années 90 pour son projet solo deep-ambient Oophoi, s’attache à utiliser un maximum de sources instrumentales (piano, synthétiseurs, percussions, carillons et bols tibétains) et sonores (sampling), en respectant une coloration analogique épurée.De l’autre le guitariste et compositeur Enrico Coniglio, reconnu pour ses disques parus sur Touch ou Crónica, apporte en plus de ses sources propres, un sens de la programmation flirtant avec le glitch minimal et tactile par instants (comme sur “ Syhan”, où apparaît aussi un sample de piano du Penguin Café Orchestra, histoire de faire bonne mesure). A l’arrivée, il en résulte un disque abouti et alchimique, à la boréale et complexe félicité. - Laurent Catala


Sixteen Review

AquaDorsa is the result from the collaborative efforts of Enrico Coniglio and Gianluigi Gasparetti aka Oophoi. We know Enrico Coniglio from different solo albums while Gianluigi Gasperatti gained some recognition as member of Nebula before setting up Oophoi. “Cloudlands” is a pure soundscape release where this project invites the listener to a journey through imaginary sound universes. The opening track “A Pillow Of Clouds” sounds as a perfect warm-up preparing the listener to an ambient journey. The next tracks are full of prosperity and are like taking you miles away from the daily stress and other problems from the daily life. I’ve been rather surprised discovering such a wafting release on Glacial Movements that often offered darker releases to their listeners. “The Pond Reflected Her Smile” sounds so sweet and evasive with its wafting synth parts. I was referring to darker releases on this label and from the next track on (cf. “Zero Gravity”) AquaDorsa progressively moves its experiment into darker regions. “Zero Gravity” is rather mysterious than dark, but seems to announce icy parts. It’s definitely one of the best cuts from this album. The next 3 songs are only accentuating the darker side of the project, which finally leads to a kind of climax on the “Night Of Trembling Stars”. This track is definitely the most animated piece of the album and especially the strings are emerging from the glacial structures. When paying some attention for the writing part of this album you’ll be possibly surprised by the impressive effect and other studio treatments. I can imagine original sounds that have been reworked to finally get this particular kind of icy and mystic expression. “Cloudlands” will definitely be please by the dark ambient lovers in search of some refreshing experiences! (DP:7)DP.


Seventeen Review

Per la sua sesta uscita, la Glacial Movements ingaggia il navigato Oophoi ed il musicista italiano Enrico Coniglio.
Il primo si dedica a tessere soffici strutture analogico digitali, mentre il secondo le punteggia con la sua chitarra ed i suoi sample.
Ne escono fuori sette brani ambient dai titoli ampiamente descrittivi con una spiccata propensione melodica, ma anche capaci di creare quell’atmosfera di ascolto concentrato e interiore che l’etichetta chiede ai suoi ascoltatori. Spiccano fra tutti ‘Daylight fading into evening silence’ e ‘Night of trembling stars’.
by Andrea Benedetti


Eighteen Review

Italy’s Glacial Movements label has, little by little, minimal increment by minimal increment, established itself as one of the world’s most vital headquarters for both rural and worldwide-etched ambient and related musics. Though only a few releases in, already we’ve seen the likes of Rapoon and Lull (two soundscaping giants, certainly) make their presence known across the label’s remit; future works are promised by no less a global isolationist than Thomas Koner, as well as the mutable Francisco Lopez and Marsen Jules. Aquadorsa pairs two of Italy’s finest sound artisans together in one of the more intriguing collaborations of late: the erstwhile Oophoi, whose own vast library of drones and broadstroke works has assumed mammoth proportions in both size and outreach, and relative newcomer Enrico Coniglio, whose 2007 release Areavirus on the Irish Psychonavigation label was one of that year’s most criminally neglected outings. At first this doesn’t appear to be the most simpatico of partnerships: though both artists are adept programmers of the requisite synths and samplers on hand, Coniglio’s “classical” approach to sonic mythmaking feels at odds with expert abstractionist Oophoi. Naturally, initial appearances are deceiving, no less so in this case. Cloudlands reveals itself to be a veritable anomaly in this age of the mono(tone)drone and so much over-arching minimalism; layered and detailed to an impeccable degree, the seven lengthy pieces are practically regal in their pragmatic impressionism. Rather than ply more easily contrived and trivial “dark” ambient pursuits, or simply probe typically spatial, post-Tangerine Dream confines, the duo create a teeming hive of (micro)activity that plays like a millennia-burnished ecosystem of sound. Misty mountain samples, sharp clangs of (processed) guitar, metallic-buffed textures, and a number of surprisingly off-putting touches neatly sidestep the usual ambient clichés; sure, barometric pressures rise and fall, atmospheres are breached and respirate effectively, but everything seems intentionally placed here, with nary a duff note or redundant gesture. Powerful stuff, rife with ingenuity and constantly interesting—more please, fellas.


Nineteen Review

Aquadorsa è una collaborazione tra Gianluigi Gasparetti (Oophoi) ed Enrico Coniglio, due musicisti elettronici italiani appartenenti entrambi all’area sperimentale/ambient.La cornice è quella di Glacial Movements, etichetta che raccoglie uscite incentrate sulla descrizione di paesaggi desertici e ghiacciati e caratterizzate dall’essere molto essenziali dal punto di vista sonoro. Cloudlands inizialmente sembra troppo new age e troppo conciliante per destare interesse, ma si tratta di uno di quegli album che cresce ascolto dopo ascolto. Il suo punto di forza parrebbe l’essere frutto di un incastro tra due modi diversi di fare ambient. A costo di prendere una brutta cantonata, qui sembra che Oophoi si sia preoccupato di creare distese soffici e luminose con synth e campionamenti classici, mentre Enrico Coniglio abbia deciso di graffiare questo quadro con minimi sussulti ritmici e crepitii vari, collegando così Aquadorsa col glitch e contribuendolo a renderlo anche più scuro in alcuni passaggi. Quest’operazione in qualche modo è stata realizzata con grandissimo senso della misura, tanto che sarebbe molto ingeneroso parlare di semplice “sovrapposizione” di stili, mentre – come accennato prima – ogni giro nello stereo fa sì che Cloudlands si manifesti come un album coeso e originale.
A cura di: Fabrizio Garau - AUDIODROME

Twenty Review

(November 2009) Italy's Glacial Movements label may be a relative newcomer to the ambient netherworld, but a slow but steady infusion of releases from the likes of Rapoon and Lull, and the promise of more in the offing from experimental ambient veterans such as Thomas Köner and Francisco Lopez, have given GM a strong foothold in darkly drifting musical terrain. And with Cloudlands GM capo Alessandro Tedeschi has allied himself again with a heavyweight, namely Italian mystic-ambient-space-drone maven, Oophoi. It's that Prince of Audio-Tides whose communings with little known experimentalist, Enrico Coniglio, are here gathered under the name Aquadorsa. Of Oophoi enough should be known already, but it's Coniglio's contribution - his bringing of digital turbulence to Gasparetti's more naturalistic sea of tranquility - that allows Cloudlands to stand that bit apart from the ambient space crowd, whether sprinkling pebbly gravel over crystalline contours or peppering pops and prepared piano patter over languorous lulls.

So, what might this portend, beyond a passing interest in post-digital music technology? Coniglio's 'research' is said to be "increasingly focused on the relationship between 'music' and 'landscape,' seeking to represent the contemporary crisis of the territory, the loss of nature and identity of places, and the unknown on the evolution of post-urban and post-industrial territory." So that's your interpretive paradigm for you. No simple glum gloom-fest nor vacuous lightside languish, but a Zeitgeist-pondering meditation, with a plentiful palette of guitars, synthesizers, piano, percussion, waterphone, chimes, singing bowls, Theremin, and samples pressed into service. "A Pillow of Clouds" sets the tone, deploying a pinch of post-dub digital to etiolate its synth washes, while a processed reed-sound is delicately exposed amid swathes of vaporous synthesis, before an insistent pulse drives the whole towards the end. Similarly paradigm-mixing, "Daylight Fading into Evening Silence" hosts a wave-like cycling synth loop washing over and over, digital crepitations creeping in, heralding Raster Noton-lite glitch-rhythmics. Nocturnal singing-bowl hum consorts with chimes and wisps over "Zero Gravity," as a ghostly loop cedes to looming syn-throb, detuned percussion and steely sine-shafts. "Syhan" goes further, with its skeletal slow-mo beats and veiled vocal fragment conspiring to lead winsome piano thematics and crystalline atmospherics far from the path of ambient purism. Aquadorsa's is a combo of bliss and bitcrush, it occurs, not far removed from 12k's pop-microsound, though on the unquiet "Alone in the Rising Fog" the duo serves up a slew of slithery and spooked atmospherics suggestive of fog-bound disorientation - cloud lands nearer to Köner country and Roach worlds.

All in all, eschewing standard dark isolationist void-starings and smile-on-the-cosmos New Age fluff alike, Aquadorsa's is at once a more expansive aerial view (cf. Oophoi's release on GM's Wurm series, An Aerial View), while cosying up to the glitch-click aesthetic. Cloudlands reveals itself to be far from the bleak and parsimonious monodrone of much enmired in the midden of the minimal, or draped in cartoon Dark; rather it is a subtly teeming affair of strata and substrata, of stately airs and grace attractively mottled by a mezzotint of microsound.

By Alan Lockett - IGLOO MAGAZINE

Twenty one Review

What makes ambient isolationist? In the early 1990s it was a reaction against the highly rhythmical, ornate, more-techno-than-ambient music that, oxymoronically, was often used for dancing. Stripped to the most minimal, artists like Thomas Köner created very quiet, slow moving music that seemed like the sound of absence. Polar regions seemed an apt metaphor, a featureless, flat, wind-swept landscape. And unlike the deserts, bleak landscapes that have inspired other musicians, polar regions are uninhabited, removing the vestiges of aboriginal civilizations that haunt Steve Roach and his desert ambient colleagues. In 1994, Virgin Records released a 2-CD compilation entitled Isolationism that tremendously expanded the acceptable range of music covered by the term. In particular, it opened the door to paranoia and despair, looking at isolation as a social term, and moving toward other environments, inner as well as outer, where an individual could be isolated. But one label which has retained the far, cold north as inspiration, ironically from Mediterranean Italy, is Glacial Movements, self described as "glacial and isolationist ambient." Their first album was a compilation, Cryosphere, released in July 2006, and their schedule has proceeded as slowly as the ice portrayed on their covers and alluded to in the label's very name. The label's sixth album, Cloudlands, hit the streets this spring under the name Aquadorsa (or perhaps Aqua Dorsa, both spellings are on the web site). It's also unclear whether this is an ongoing project, but in any event the album pairs relative newcomer Enrico Coniglio with one of the most venerable names in deep ambient, Oöphoi. Unlike some of Oöphoi's other collaborations where both artists share an expertise in slow moving drones, Coniglio adds an unexpected layer of noise, borrowing liberally from 12k glitch and Raster-Noton crunchy rhythms. Pieces like The Pond Reflected Her Smile are still characterized by Oöphoi's languid harmonies, where Coniglio's slow click percussion adds an unusual grit. The scratches on Zero Gravity would sound completely at home on well-played vinyl, blending with the subaquatic melodic loops and continuous bell resonances. The music could be considered a departure from the glacial and isolationist rubric, considerably more active and melodic than Lull's subliminal soundscapes, perhaps the label's venture into the more social aspects of isolation. For an oblique perspective, Coniglio's solo work Glacial Lagoon, available on the Laverna netlabel, is a deliberate investigation of the loss of identity in the post-urban landscape colored by his residence in Venice. Where Glacial Lagoon is considerably more glitchy than Cloudlands, the collaboration with Oöphoi brings to the music a wistfulness, an emotional longing previously absent from the genre.
Glacial Movements releases are available digitally from all of the usual suspects, but the CDs are packaged in beautiful digipaks with artwork by the Norwegian photographer Bjarne Riesto that is considerably more than the single image CD cover that comes with downloads. Only half of Riesto's photo is visible on the Aqua Dorsa image above, as the rest is spread across the entire gatefold. Lull's cover is especially effective, an image of white ice that is displayed in context of gorgeous, lush, full color arctic sunset on the inside.


Twenty two Review

Cloudlands represents an animistic celebration of cold, snow, fog, mist, and icy air. Across seven lengthy tracks Aqua Dorsa deploy guitars, synthesisers, piano, percussive elements, and a range of more exotic instruments such as Theremin, singing bowls, and a waterphone (a very unique kind of tuned percussion instrument which has water reservoirs inside it to shape the timbre of the tones it produces).
The flesh of each track is composed from drifting drones, mostly sounding like they’ve been generated by processed guitars or keyboards. These trailing layers of sound gently float across one another, weaving minimalist but evocative textures. The general effect is to conjure images of Artic or Antarctic horizons, ice-clad seas, or icy mountains high above the tree line.
Woven through the drones are some very beautiful percussion elements, mostly sounding programmed, though the credits suggest that some live playing is present as well. At times these elements are more explicitly drum kit-like in character (though always processed through various sonic filters); at other times they are more abstract, rhythmically patterned clicks, beeps, and samples.
The percussive elements bring in something of a laid back trip hop influence and set off a good contrast with the ambient/drone facets of the music. Aqua Dorsa are really good at laying down a strong groove without abandoning delicacy or subtlty, and they know when to introduce beats and when to let them subside again.
This tasteful application of beats and percussion to ambient drones creates an excellent dynamic trajectory to the album as a whole. At times the energy builds into a stronger force, then subsides back into dreamer, mist-soaked territory. It keeps the music as a whole quite engaging, which is a rare achievement for what is essentially ambient music.
The chimes, samples (in particular of distant, blowing wind), crackle, and so forth, provide the third pillar on which the release as a whole is built. They are used to underscore the spaciousness of the drones, to render unto the percussion a more organic feel, and to break up the repetitive aspects of the music and keep things feeling fresh.
All in all it is the atmosphere of this album that most impresses, however. Somehow despite the icy aesthetic of the music it never feels forbidding, isolating, or emotionally cold. Indeed, there is a real sense of comfort, of being at home.
Perhaps the feeling evoked is similar to what it is like in the final stages of hypothermia – one is overcome with warmth and well-being even as one’s pulse stills and one’s breath rattles into stillness. Somehow I find such an image to be a font of optimism!
There’s something life-affirming about this excursion into forbidding climates and horizons and on the whole this is a beautiful album.


Twenty three Review


Twenty four Review

I druhá deska přinese ambient. Ten už bude mnohem sebevědomější a v rámci možností ,hlučnější‘. Aqua Dorsa je nový hudební projekt italských ambientních umělců Enrica Coniglia a Oophoi. Debut CLOUDLANDS (Glacial Movements, 2009, 67:23) je dokonalý amalgám glitch cinkání a práskání, klasické hudby i orchestrálního ledového am bientu. Enrico se jako kytarista a skladatel stále více zaměřuje na vztah mezi hudbou a krajinou, tentokrát za severním polárním kruhem. Po mapování nočních Benátek došlo tedy na zkrocenější elektronický ambient, který svou melodičností připomene pre-etnické období Vidny Obmany. To znamená nástupy hladkých melodických linek, které se jako mraky na obloze přelévají, slučují dohromady a zase nazpět trhají. Postupně se nenápadně přidávají theremin, stydlivé emoce a další samply, kterými se liší duo od více než 15 let starých nahrávek belgického projektu. V kousku Syhan dokonce převezmou náladu vysamplované pasáže klavírního preludování Penguin Café Orchestra. Velmi příjemné album


Twenty five Review

La criogenesi sonora del produttore romano Alessandro Tedeschi aka Netherworld (emblematico il suo album Mørketid, pubblicato circa 3 anni fa, per il quale utilizzava field recordings e suoni catturati nella glaciale Norvegia) prosegue infaticabile nell'esplorazione di una categoria termica e paesaggistica, il freddo e le regioni polari, le cui traduzioni in forme estetiche udibili e visibili trovano degna espressione nelle intriganti produzioni che recano il marchio Glacial Movements, etichetta che al di là del manifesto intento del suo fondatore - quello di vertere in ricerche incentrate sull'ambient isolazionista - si sta guadagnando una certa visibilità non solo fra gli ascoltatori abituati ad esplorare territori musicali tra l'ambient music e la new age, ma anche fra molti appassionati di elettronica in senso lato anche al di là dei confini nazionali, visibilità a cui ha contribuito la decisione di produrre anche nomi blasonati della scena quali l'alter ego ambient - Lull - del cranioclastico Mick Harris, celeberrimo ex batterista dei Napalm Death nonchè incontinente produttore di sperimentazioni sonore incentrato sull'uso di sferraglianti percussioni (inserite persino in contesti sonori più "pacifici") o Rapoon, il progetto solista di Robin Storey (ex Zoviet France). A carpire la nostra attenzione auricolare (nonchè oculare vista la suggestiva fotografia, carpita dall'obiettivo di Bjarne Riesto, scelta per l'artwork di copertina), è una sigla relativamente sconosciuta, Aqua Dorsa, dietro la quale si malcelano Gianluigi Gasparetti, meglio noto col moniker Oophoi, e lo stimato Enrico Coniglio, musicista e sperimentatore veneziano che presentammo ai nostri lettori in occasione della pubblicazione delle sue Topofonie, in cui il concept che contraddistingue il suo alacre lavorio sonoro, in parte travasato anche in questo progetto bicefalo, incentrato sulla ricerca di una sonorizzazione atta a descrivere territori e paesaggi. Il peso specifico di Enrico che sembra riversare negli oceani sonori poco mossi (certa nomenclatura da meteorologo televesivo può calzare per descrivere le sonorità che perturberanno i vostri padiglioni...!) schegge di rumori e microsuoni atti a turbarne leggeramente l'apparente quietitudine, si percepisce notevolmente nella ricetta sonora di questo intrigante act, costituendo quasi l'elemento di disturbo nelle oniriche fluttuazioni costruite da Oophoi attraverso drones rarefatti e cristallini, anche se nel corso dell'ascolto qualora conosciate anche solo vagamente l'arsenale stilistico (nonchè strumentale, visto che è proprio la considerevole ampiezza di ferri del mestiere a distinguere questo album dai precedenti dell'etichetta capitolina) delle due personalità musicali fuse in Cloudlands, sarà facile accorgersi che non si riduce ad una sorta di addizione algebrica tra le abilità dell'uno e dell'altro, ma sembra quasi evolversi in un'interazione volta a "rappresentare" passagi scenografici spesso diversi.
Ne beneficia il risultato finale: mai troppo sclerotizzato sulla staticità che talvolta connota lavori che orbitano attorno a questi immaginari sonori e sufficientemente variegato nell'avvicendamento di variazioni di registro. Delle sette convoluzioni sonopaesaggistiche dai titoli eloquentemente didascalici, abbiamo trovato di particolare interesse la potenza evocativa di Alone In The Rising Fog - la lunghissima traccia (oltre 18 minuti di immersione uditiva...) che sembra meglio sposare il concept della Glacial Movements, caratterizzata da una sorta di costante tremolio che, congiuntamente a suoni d'ambiente da videogame (gorgoglii, singulti, battiti cardiaci, sincopi sussultorie, rumori acquatici e quant'altro...) e alla sapiente modulazione di frequenze che rimandano alle soundtrack di certe palpitanti pellicole horror degli anni '70, vale aumenta la tensione drammatica del brano -, il setting "lucciolesco" di Night Of Trembling Stars - le cui ipnagogiche radiazioni atmosferiche che disegnano una sorta di sinfonia eterea e impalbabile, che s'insinua nei canali onirici dell'ascoltatore, ci rimanda alle sospensioni in formalina dal vaticinante retrogusto bucolico di Biosphere o ai latticini sonici in salsa cosmica di certa techno-ambient che si producevano in copiose quantità intorno alla fine degli anni '90 -, il graduale passaggio di stato di Daylight Fading Into Evening Silence - in un cui un placido drone sembra "abbagliare" i timpani dell'ascoltatore scansionando idealmente le luci e le variazione cromatiche di una tipica giornata su una landa artica - e gli algidi ecoscandagli di Syhan - traccia che si contrastingue per un placido campione di pianoforte attinto da Red Shorts della Penguin Café Orchestra su cui si infrangono pulsazioni "gutturali", scariche di un arco elettrico cortocircuitato che coralmente sembrano disegnare una straniante rapsodia "radiofonica" -. Esplorazione uditiva questo Cloudlands in cui affiorano divertssment di entrambi gli artefici come iceberg in riemersione che non mancherà di impressionarsi su coclee e sinapsi.