Tabs Out | MonoLogue – Spazio

MonoLogue – Spazio
7.12.17 by Ryan Masteller


Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in spazio! That’s Italian for “space,” for all of you whose main interaction with the language comes from perusing restaurant menus (and let’s be fair, that’s pretty much the only Italian I come across on a regular basis, I’m not gonna lie). But for Florence-based musician Marie Rose, aka MonoLogue (also MOON RA), Italian is the language she encounters every day, so we all better get used to it. Don’t worry, it’ll be easy – there aren’t too many languages that reverberate as sonorously as MonoLogue’s native tongue. English sure doesn’t – English sounds like a runaway garbage truck down the side of an erupting volcano in comparison. Chunky. Weird.

(Relevant story: I was in Venice several years ago, and the concierge at our hotel, a wonderfully nice man, had to print some documentation for us, but he was having trouble with the computer. He kept saying “Annulla, annulla,” as he was “canceling” what he was doing. It was the most beautiful sound – I could have listened to him repeat that word all day.)

Anyway, let’s join MonoLogue in spazio, shall we? The “Nomade” (nomadic) space traveler drifts through glistening synthesizer excursions on the eleven-minute opener, fractals and prisms sparkling like quasar pulses through the faceplate of a spacesuit. Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in “Spazio, I repeat, because it’s true, and “Ossessione” (obsession) even goes as far as sounding like the low-key interludey passages of the Spiritualized classic. It’s interesting to hear MonoLogue use traditional instrumentation, and maybe I’m conditioned from all the MOON RA I’ve ingested, particularly the miasmic sound fractures of her half of “Mutus Liber” (with Giulio Aldinucci), but I almost didn’t expect such a relaxed atmosphere. Not to worry in the end – the distance is breathtaking, the space – literal and outer – is managed expertly within the compositions.

I love how the tape doesn’t sit still, either, as it progresses, as “Silenzio” (hush) pretends it wants you to be quiet and listen to the ambience of your surroundings, but instead injects your surroundings with its own soundtrack, the ambience erased into active participation. Speaking of active, “Riva” (shore) approaches, dare I say, synth pop territory with its immediately earwormy hook. Ladies and gentlemen, we have washed upon the riva. Um, what planet is this again?

Hylé Tapes is one of my favorite active experimental tape labels, so you should grip whatever you can from the French imprint, damn the shipping cost! And “Spazio” only comes in an edition of 30 – you better act fast if you want one.

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