Italian electronic artist Davide Tonini has produced a thoroughly engrossing new album. Rigenereazioni (Regeneration) reflects Tonini’s love of modular synthesis and his “incredible ways of interpreting it.”
The nine tracks here are the first nine I’ve ever heard from Tonini, and maybe the first ever released (Discogs and digital stores didn’t turn up much under this name, and Google showed me a video by a Davide Tonini called “Life cycle costing of waste management systems,” which sounded techno as fuck but unfortunately was not.)
Walking into it with no expectations, I’m walking away from Rigenerazioni with the impression that any credible music academy hawking “master classes” (they’re always “master classes”) on the art of production needs to hire Tonini, STAT. While I love sloppy basslines and the mechanical swing of imperfectly played machines, there is a deep mental pleasure that comes from listening to exquisitely well-produced and ordered electronic tracks like these.
Made entirely from his eurorack system (“without overdub”), Rigenerazioni has a coherent sound, flexible enough to hold the listener’s attention while still resembling each other, like nine pieces of a solid whole. The title track leads off and introduces some of the main musical themes: icy electronics, frozen and then melting and passing into steam, marking musical fragments of a character’s journey through an urban underworld. The cover art by Beeple shows that character standing on the precipice of a chasm, captured just before making the decision between walking away and diving in.
It’s not ambient, though, or not as you’d think of ambient. “Level” is just one of several tracks with a seriously funky bite, a fat bassline and glassy percussion. Tonini has his eurorack performing like an orchestra on “B88-2,” drowning in hypnotic electronics.
On multiple tracks Tonini has filmed himself recording — a pair of disembodied hands reaching into a trunk of patch wires and knobs. It’s an odd contrast to the sound of Rigenereazioni, which gives the impression of music transmitted directly from his mind.
Davide Tonini: Rigenerazioni (Detroit Underground / Digital)
1. Davide Tonini: Rigenerazioni (04:51)
2. Davide Tonini: Memorie (05:42)
3. Davide Tonini: Level (05:12)
4. Davide Tonini: Gomma (05:04)
5. Davide Tonini: Dipanare (05:37)
6. Davide Tonini: B88-2 (04:59)
7. Davide Tonini: B1-39 (05:49)
8. Davide Tonini: Artefatti (06:02)
9. Davide Tonini: Algebrico (05:33)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was not submitted as a promo.