- Donato Dozzy and Guiseppe Tillieci (AKA Neel) recorded a Voices From The Lake performance at MAXXI, Rome's premier contemporary art centre, for their Editions Mego live album. In stark contrast to the previous live 12-inch, cut from a set at The Bunker in New York, there are no heady beats to be found here. Instead, the recording captures laid-back ambient soundscapes, perhaps more interested in blending with the space than becoming a point of focus within it. Sure enough, it's easy to imagine the gentle, trippy sounds echoing around MAXXI's curved and cavernous galleries.
Live At MAXXI is at its best when Dozzy and Tillieci wrap their textures around subtly psychedelic rhythms. "Sonia Danza" is the most obvious example: its clanging percussive patterns suggest a techno-friendly rhythm, but its roots are altogether more ethereal. Despite a gossamer surface, the track is engrossing. Something similar happens on "Richiami e Oscillazioni," when a jaw harp takes the lead. The simple instrument bounces and resonates, suffusing itself in an aggressive swell of electronic noise. Those kinds of unusual textures mix effectively with the duo's loose, repetitive drums.
Tracks like "Scintille" and "Dreamscape Generation" bring to mind Tillieci's recent solo album with austere mechanic formations and heavenly touches. Whereas that record gathered momentum moving towards a celestial climax, Live At MAXXI lacks a definitive direction. The less rhythmic tracks suffer as a result; instead of growing in intensity, their subtle energies are cut short and dissipate. It's possible to see how they'd work better in a gallery setting, but they don’t offer much elsewhere.
More than it lacks momentum, MAXXI lacks depth. It’s a difficult record to properly lose yourself in, with moments of real beauty interrupted by vacant stretches. It rarely submerges you completely, and lacks the sublime tension of Voices From The Lake's studio work, instead drifting by without much of a counterflow. A chilled-out cover of "Max" by Italian singer Paolo Conte makes the old jazz man sound like Orbital, and adds the final inscrutable touch to a record more comfortable treading water than going below the surface.
02. Sonia Danza
03. Dreamscape Generation
04. Richiami e Oscillazioni
05. Orange Steps