01-06 June

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The solo project from Davide Tomat of Italian band Niagara falls somewhere between dreamy ambient pop formalism and something else entirely -- every time it seems like one can get an exact handle on either a song or the album as a whole, Tomat takes it a little somewhere else. The space themes in the titles play out sonically throughout, partially in a sense of bringing in a bit of space age pop giddiness as well; the kind of thing that '90s bands seemed to look back to even if it was never quite there to start with. "Radio" is a good example of this, with sweet technology buzzing and wistful space age-gone-strange constructions, part lounge-pop gamelan fantasia and part Sigur Rós. "Soyuz" is shorter and feels like distant signals and brooding, looming beauty, the nearest thing here to full-on electrogaze as such, and beautifully accomplished even as random noises spit in and out of the mix. Meanwhile, "Jupiter Asteroids" feels like being in space, with a lot of the background fuzz removed to allow gentle guitar loops, distant rumbles, and soft voices to interplay and float. But a song like the opening "CE-2" starts with heavenly vocals, electro-blips, drone fuzz, and echo, a post-everything pop release shifting into a sorta riffy blizzard and calm melody, a sort of mash-up where it's unclear where the base is meant to be. "Lovely Place" acts as a slightly more straightforward ballad-zone of sorts, very end-of-'70s space rock, while "Venus" is a strikingly great blissout of its own serene keyboard-led sort, rich and romantic in feel (how appropriate after all). "Montgolfier" pumps up everything with pulsing keyboards and twinkles and background shimmer, like a very sprightly and friendly animation soundtrack in feel. It's all just unusual and enjoyable enough.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
4:31 Amazon
6:59 Amazon
9:26 Amazon
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6:20 Amazon
3:52 Amazon
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4:37 Amazon
7:35 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick