AMN Reviews: The Star Pillow – Symphony for Intergalactic Brotherhood (2018; Boring Machines)

Guitarist Paolo Monti is The Star Pillow, a one-man project that explores the outer boundaries of guitar-based ambient soundscapes. Symphony for Intergalactic Brotherhood includes three long-form bowed, processed, and layered improvisations due for release on March 30.

The opening track, My Dear Elohim, is an extended, shimmering drone with deliberately-paced sinusoidal ululations. It evolves through variations of this theme to a towering crescendo just before it ends. Unlike its predecessor, the short An Intergalactic Handshake contains elements that are clearly plucked guitar notes. These are slowly replaced by overlapping mid-frequency drones. From Dust to Stars rounds out the release, moving in a darker direction. The drones are bassier and growling, yet still cyclic and in line with the general approach of My Dear Elohim.

One of the compelling aspects of this album is Monti’s penchant for making guitar recordings sound like other instruments, cello and synths in particular. Nonetheless, the mechanisms behind his sound matter less than the sound itself. A strong release.