In what must be taken as a departure for two artists known for their dense, rich ambient atmospheres, Bruno Sanfilippo and Max Corbacho’s Bioma relies more on actual atmosphere–field recordings made in the fields and forests of Tarragona, Spain–to create a quiet, fully immersive soundspace. The field recordings, birdsong, water, wind, take the forefront throughout much of this 59-minute nature walk. Sanfilippo and Corbacho weave their electronic textures through the space like wind in the leaves. Around the halfway point, however, the sound takes a turn. The electronics slide more forward. Bells and chimes clatter, not entirely pleasantly and with a touch of discord. It’s like we’ve come to an uncertain place in the forest where something less than pastoral hangs in the air. Toward the end of the disc, the birdsongs that fill the early parts give way to crickets and distant nightsounds. Bioma is an interesting experiment. It’s clear that the two principals are not afraid to push their boundaries. The underplaying of the electronics early in the disc is nicely balanced with their stronger, darker presence later. This is a good low-volume listen that takes on new, deeper life in headphones. One caveat: if the sound of birdsong wears thin on you quickly, this is not the disc for you.
Available from AD21.