AMN Reviews: The Nent – Vulner (2019; Cyclic Law)

The Nent is Vince Gagliardi, based out of Berlin, and Vulner is his debut release. While ostensibly falling into the dark ambient bucket, the music on this three-track EP is primarily a set of atmospheric samples and abstract field recordings that are live-triggered from a drum set. This results in a series of pulsing themes, fractured waves, and distorted effects driven by drum beats and other percussive elements.

But rather than cobble together these constituent pieces, Gagliardi structures them into distinct compositions, each with a logical progression and a sense of purpose. If anything, Vulner exhibits a cinematic ponderousness, with clearly discernable melodies and rhythms. But underlying its occasional catchiness is a menacing darkness replete with tension.

Comparisons? William Basinski, for one. In particular, the emphasis on percussion-based activation of sounds provides a set of oscillating and hypnotic offerings. But while Gagliardi’s namesake wanders in a few familiar spaces, Vulner is its own animal and resists any strict categorization into a genre. Strong recommendation.