Alessandro Cortini inaugurates new imprint Point Of Departure with AVANTI, the follow-up to his Forse triptych for Important Recs and two breakthrough LPs for Prurient's Hospital Productions. Themed around notions of transportation via music and nostalgia for moments romanticised or misremembered, AVANTI is proof if any were needed of the truly staggering emotional depth and range that makes Alessandro Cortini's music such a powerful force.
Having played a semi-consistent role as a member of Nine Inch Nails since 2004, Cortini first truly broke into ours and many others' consciousness with the still evocative and highly entrancing albums Sonno and Risveglio. Released to great acclaim in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the mixtures of ambient recordings made during extensive touring using a Roland MC 202 (Sonno) and a TB303 (Risveglio) fed through a delay pedal, instantly marked Cortini out within the legions of fans plugged directly into the quieter side of Discreet Music and most prominently SAW-era AFX.
With the AFX reference playing a consistent comparison within his solo musical career to date, on AVANTI it's fellow Warp artists and memory archivists Boards of Canada with whom any comparisons should really be made. Having recently rediscovered an archive of home videos made by his grandfather, who passed away a few years previously, AVANTI sees Cortini excavating the content of a cache of several Super 8 films of family gatherings as well as hours of dinner-time conversations that had been recorded onto cassette for posterity. Using these recordings as a jumping off point, Cortini uses them as a time machine to journey backwards to paint several paintings of the same picture. Each one carrying a slightly different depth and weight to the Buchla led electro-acoustic drones that hold its crumbling remnants together. Remnants of youth misremembered weave in and out of the mind, while things once forgotten float back up to the surface, meaning the recordings appeared to be almost as fallible as his recollections – both showed signs of degradation. Using the dissolving memory aspect to beautifully translate some of the most affecting sounds to cross memory with music since The Caretaker took his first steps up the stairway to the stars.
Whether it's collaborating with Merzbow on harsh noise albums, crafting razor edge techno for Shifted's Avian imprint or recording the ambient sounds of the city outside whichever hotel window he finds himself within, stationed hundreds of miles from home while on the road with NIN, Alessandro Cortini's music has always had a deeply personal isolationist feel to it, yet it's on AVANTI that he really opens up to us, the thought patterns that make his sound such a rich and absorbing entity.