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BORGA, ASCANIO - Altered States

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Sonic Boundaries sb001
Release Year: 2015
Note: the Italian composer is back after a long release break, on ALTERED STATES twelve epic guitar drone pieces ("live in the studio") are presented, effected and multi-layered , reminding us on works of "N" or AIDAN BAKER, though BORGA can become quite noisy and furious at times... "The cumulative effect is volcanic, droning, sputtering worlds being formed, others being pulverized down to cellular level, ancient in gut feel, ablating all other thoughts." [S. Fruitman] lim. 100 only
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €12.00

More Info

disc 1: recorded in january 2010
disc 2: recorded in february 2011
remastered in v2k studio

ab - treated electric guitar

the music contained in this album was recorded in two single live improvisations in studio - no overdubs or additional effects were successively added in the recording

artwork and layout by ab
portrait of ab by erika bonanni

thanks: giuseppe verticchio

sonic boundaries sb001


"Like listening to a painter attack the canvas while drinking absinthe in the other room, Altered States is a two-disc, ninety-minute collection of solo guitar vignettes by Ascanio Borga, his first on new label Sonic Boundaries. Track titles hang off the same, great chain of roiling, evolving being Magma, Acid Landscape, Harsh Ground, Raw Science Loops and Borga works quickly but methodically. Altered States is formalist in the sense that no heed is paid historic, political and cultural context, all attention instead focused on the materiality of the art.
Disc one was recorded one day in January 2010, disc two also a single day, one year and one month later. Dark green outside, vital-organ pink inside. Played and treated live, no additional fiddling or overdubbing, a dozen states of mind (even grace) passionately expressed. The cumulative effect is volcanic, droning, sputtering worlds being formed, others being pulverized down to cellular level, ancient in gut feel, ablating all other thoughts. You cant help but concentrate. Raw indulgence, visceral gratification."

[Stephen Fruitman - avantmusicnews.com/2015]

"It's hard to believe but it seems that I wrote about Ascanio Borga three times in Vital Weekly, in issue 550, 600 and 657, but not after that. I have no idea why there is such a long gap in producing some new music (and I surely would have believed it wasn't that long ago), but he manages now to release a double CD of recent works. Like before Borga's main instrument is the guitar but unlike before it's just the guitar and no percussion, wind chimes, Japanese carillon, frog guiro, samples, found sounds and objects as on the last release. He writes that 'Altered States' is an album of 'guitar solos' and that they were all recorded live in the
studio, with no additional overdubs. That still is something that leaves many options open, and Borga certainly explores a few roads here. Drones are, obviously, an important part of these twelve pieces (close to ninety minutes in total), with some of these being viciously loud and noisy, or, as in 'Magma' or 'Radiance' with an orchestral touch. Sometimes there is a more rock like approach to his guitar sound and Borga layers many of these on top of each other: effects such as loopers, delay and reverb play an important role, as well amplification. In 'Harsh Ground'
the resemblance with guitar sound is virtually gone in favour of a more abstract, controlled feedback. A minority of the pieces consist of more open ended strumming of the six strings, which I think is a pity; the release could have used a little more variation I think. The balance is now in favour of the noisy nightmares of burning distortion boxes, wandering off in the endless void of reverb and feedback. I think a stricter selection of pieces, ultimately fitting on a single disc, would have made a much stronger release. But now, spread out over two discs, this is just a 'great' one as well." [FdW/Vital Weekly]