Cometa’s Minimal Way is one of those discs that took me a few listens to get used to–and even at that, I couldn’t fully settle in. Part of the reason is that I couldn’t shake the sense that musician Angelo Secondini didn’t fully trust some of the interesting drones he set forth in this captured live set. The opening track, “Simplicity (Wave 12),” sets what should be the standard for this disc. Here, waveform washes are allowed to follow their course over a catchy, straightforward backbeat. For eight minutes, that’s it…and it’s enough. Overall, Secondini’s drone work is excellent. It develops over an appropriate arc of time and shows the glacial-but-present shifts that mark good drone. But come to a track like “Nakedness II,” and in the middle of what’s a just-about-ideal, mind-grabbing drone, Secondini feels the need to throw in a jarring random splash of electronic sound and then let it fade down. Here is where the perceived lack of trust comes in. Let it be. The track didn’t need “more,” from a listening standpoint. Let the drone express itself. To be fair, he does this again in “Nakedness IV,” but there it’s slipped in more subtly and doesn’t quite shake the flow as badly. There, it’s a logical placement. The combination of the last two tracks, “Live-2” and “Nakedness IV,” is the best stretch of the disc. “Live-2” undulates like the water Secondini says is the inspiration for this disc, a soothing pulse neatly punctuated with some electronic shimmer. “Nakedness IV” brings a beat up and under over and over, beneath a mix of drones and pulses. Mid-track he lays in some aggressive sounds in stark contrast, then lets them ease out for a great finish to the disc. To be fair to Secondini, Minimal Way is the musical component to a music and visuals presentation, and live performance of this sort of music provides its own challenges. For the most part, he blends his minimalist side well with his beats and electronic accentuation. There’s good music to be had on Minimal Way; it’s very well worth checking out.
Available from Auraltone.