Antonio Testa (www.antoniotesta.info) may be best known for his ethno-ambient collaborations with Alio Die, but he has also released a diverse variety of solo ambient music on such labels as Hic Sunt Leones, Faria and Emit. Testa’s collaborator Michel Moglia, credited here with fire organ, flute and drones, will be a new name to most.
Often ambient recordings pursue a single sub-genre or niche — dark ambient, ethno ambient or drone, for example — and stick faithfully to it. Forget the Past exhibits a pleasing diversity, with plenty of gently atmospheric stretches, rthythms that sometimes fade out and at other times build to a wicked trance churn. The sound is clean, yet derives from a full list of natural and organic sound source, and a diverse set of field recordings.
One track lays gritty, hallucinogenic flute lines over a slow-swooping psychedelic rhythm mechanism and incantatory female whispers and recitations like an overheard magic spell. Another mixes bird sounds and subtle electronic atmosphere with distantly echoing percussion, creating something like a soundtrack to a lost film by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Percussion with a tribal or ethno flavor is used in an unusual way, not to fake a specific brand of exoticism, but to create a sense of something both intuitively familiar and also strangely foreign.
Forget The Past covers a lot of sonic ground and a broad range of moods, but it’s always unpredictible and fresh, while remaining smooth, introspective and restrained. We’re very proud to bring this recording to Hypnos listeners, and trust that the sample clips will convince many of you to give this a full listen.