AMN Reviews: Gianluca Becuzzi – Faraway From Light (2016; Bandcamp)

My discovery of Gianluca Becuzzi has been nothing short of joy, even as Becuzzi’s music typically reflects emotions at quite the opposite end of the spectrum. His releases incorporate aspects of modern sound art, dark ambient, sculpted noise, drone metal, and vocal experimentation in various combinations. This 2016 release uses field recordings made in Berlin’s Teufelsberg Towers, a large resonant space.

Featuring one very long track (37 minutes) sandwiched between two shorter ones (5 minutes each), Faraway From Light explores the destructive effect of drug addiction. It was created as an unofficial soundtrack to the 1995 film “The Addiction”, a vampire-horror allegory.

The first track combines layered drones with electroacoustic elements and metal-on-metal, as well as fluttering and rattling effects. The impact is disturbing but only hints at what is to come.

The Addiction, the album’s central piece, commences with a windswept soundscape. It rapidly morphs into shifting drones with quietly grinding textures that build and ebb in harshness and volume over a course of 15 or so minutes. Above this, a discordant layer of higher-pitched elements continuously deconstruct and then reconstruct themselves. But then, just past the midpoint, Hell breaks loose. Becuzzi uses his source recordings and acoustic percussion to create an absolutely massive wall of noise. This sonic assault resembles the simultaneous destruction of 100 battleships – or, how the human mind can descend into the depths of compulsion and dependency. This grinding, roiling bolus of non-stop chaos is as relentless as it is chilling to the core. The intensity is maintained as the piece ends, with droning vocalizations added to the mix.

The closing track is a fitting coda. It includes an aggregation of drones, scraping, and walled elements that summarize what has come before, then slowly fades outs with echoing metallic abrasions.

Faraway From Light is a heady and exhausting journey, one that should involve actively listening from beginning to end. The sheer level of detail employed by Becuzzi is overwhelming, and the result is exceptional. Strongest recommendation.