Matt Borghi

Ashes

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

2002's Elegy for Time consisted of treated acoustic steel string guitar; 2003's Ashes takes the opposite direction and has been put together using synthesizers only. The mood is therefore pretty different, even though Matt Borghi remains in ambient music territory. The processing, looping, and layering techniques involved in guitar soundscaping evoke a certain ritual, a ceremonial on which the listener can zoom in if he or she wants to, while synthesizer works like this one seem to exist for dreamier ears or to serve an extra-musical goal, such as meditation or relaxation. This 43-minute piece lacks depth, structure, or variety to reward attentive listening. On the other hand, its openness (it could have no beginning nor end) and welcomeness mean that you can start, leave, and come back to it at will. It doesn't get in the way (i.e., distract) nor does it repel you when you are ready to pay attention to it. There is still a certain dark ambient/drone/post-industrial quality to the music, mostly due to Borghi's choice of sound palette (it always includes a certain level of low rumble and light oversaturation in the treble register), but Ashes is overall lighter and is driven by notes instead of textures. Sketches of melodies appear, dissolve, and reappear later on, keeping the piece in a constant protean state, as if it refused to coalesce into a definite shape, preferring instead to remain in the realm of possibilities.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 42:53
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