Bruno Sanfilippo continues his run of excellent CDs with his latest release, Subliminal Pulse. Sanfilippo’s tour this time moves through nine tracks that follow a soul-pleasing path of reducing themselves slightly in complexity as they go, from the starlight shimmer and mathematical rhythm of “The Third Geometry” down to the prayer-like sighs of “Mantram.” Within that framework each piece stands on its own, but the whole still carries a strongly unified feel, an unwavering continuation of intent. The difference in tracks comes off as less of a change of direction than the way the mind courses from one thought to the next, taking up an idea and moving off with it. The centerpiece here is the 14-minute “Intrinsic Fluctuations,” a thoughtful landscape of sound that keeps folding in on itself to find new identities. It passes through quiet spaces, spacey quietude, shadowy moments and the border of rhythm (with some nicely understated percussion), each transformation modestly making itself noticeable. My problem in trying to write this review has been that every track borders on being too lovely for words; they simply must be heard. “Santa Luminosa” has a hint of gypsy violin mourning through its sad song. The title track begins with a music-box-type melody and gently builds from there as misty washes ease in at the edges. It feels like remembering. “Pulsum Sacrum” will absolutely carry you off with it, a slow-breath drift centered by two repeated sets of three notes–one set rising, the other falling, both carrying, as the title suggests, a sacred-music feel. This is a deep prayer for the soul, and a balm for the mind. Loop just this track and you may be setting yourself up for a religious experience. As always, Sanfilippo’s mastery of sound textures enriches the experience of each track. Deep, focused listening reaps incredible rewards and opens entirely different worlds. Quite simply one of the best CDs of 2011 so far, and definitely a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
Available at Spotted Peccary.