Andrea Borghi | Superelief
Wielding a prepared turntable, electroacoustic device and a computer Andrea Borghi offers one of the years most micro and exploratory tapes on Superelief via Australian imprint Hemisphäreの空虚. Borghi developed this piece over an art residency in Florence. At first it sounds as if he’s popping corn, there’s this infectious and contained jumping sound. After a while the jostling grows a bit more organic, and slows down. These seven tracks are all assigned single digit numbers (ie: 0, 4, 6….) further anonymyzing the action.
Though the range is stunted and rather low-flying, the activity sounds quite physical, textural, as if the artist is recording a laser experiment on rocks and minerals. The not knowing is likely what makes these tiny noises so fascinating. Are these high voltage beams, is he using a stream of water, or are we in a factory producing small handheld devices…is it welding, a sonic screwdriver? The mind reels in curiosity.
I do know that as a visual artist Borghi creates circular works incorporating sewing, stitching or loom-based work that looks like woven hair, or something from the soil. These pieces are created in the dimension of a 12″ lp and he then somehow uses them in his prepared turntable setup. They are quite visceral, organic and otherwise not your traditional grooves. This is partly why this comes off as a really abstract field recording that for a moment sound like a bus engine. And at another it is as if he’s cleaning the innards of a pachinko machine – only emphasized more fully when an idling, motorized type drone is added to the bottom end for some awkward reverb to the already off-center proceedings.
The sizzle and crackle brings to mind breakfast being fried in a cast iron skillet on the sizzling 4. But here he also adds a playful pairing of breezy percussion. The sense of this as in-situ is evident. Likely my favorite here is also its most playful, the popping 5 stands out as a toylike play of minimal techno with no funky grooves, just this sci-fi gestation that sounds partially submerged. What could be hundreds of glass spheres bobble with the caress of microstatic that ends all too abruptly.
There are some sweet pauses in all this minimal playfulness, and I only say sweet because of it clear delineation in aural scope, and its shift in tone. This is contemporary musique concrete at its finest, and Borghi is most certainly one of the next wave of artists who can easily be associated with the John Cage school of organic, prepared soundmaking. The sounds are full, then hollow, and aside from the noises he’s making, their are metaphors to consumption and other earthly concerns. He tends to locate this intersection between the organic and the industrial, and you are left with a sense of impermanence and awe.