Sonoio

Fine

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Italian composer Alessandro Cortini has probably been one of the hardest-working musicians on the alternative scene throughout the 2000s and 2010s. When not working with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails, he’s put out numerous records under his own name, composed entirely on his beloved Buchla modular synth; formed Modwheelmood with Abandoned Pools' Pelle Hillström; and, of course, created his own electro-pop project, Sonoio, in 2010. Here, he delivers Sonoio's third -- and allegedly final -- effort Fine, and it’s safe to say that Cortini has decided to end the project on a high note. The album opens with quite possibly one of the best Sonoio tracks so far: "I Don’t Know" gradually builds from celestial synths and thudding electro beats to a hopeful crescendo that delivers pounding drums, fuzzy synth leads, and warm glockenspiels. Lead single "Thanks for Calling" recalls some of the work of M83, particularly that of Before the Dawn Heals Us, with its sweltering synth leads, whipping electro snare, and robust vocal melodies. Fine is a splendid example of Cortini's ability to craft both neutrally emotive atmosphere and upbeat synth pop with an arsenal of dark sounds. "Under the Sea" delivers forlorn synth strings awash with gorgeous reverb before a brilliant ethereal chorus opens with Cortini's vocal hooks double-tracked alongside thudding bass drum. Just like "I Don’t Know," it stands as a simultaneously morose yet inspiring track. If this is the final Sonoio record, then Cortini has bid farewell to the project in extremely fine form.

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