Rebuilding Pantaleone’s Tree
The only non-informational text on the packaging of Rebuilding Pantaleone’s Tree reads: “Have you ever given a musical instrument to an animal?” Of course, most of us would have to answer no, but after listening to this disc a couple of times I’m not so sure it’s such a non-sequitur for Stafano De Santis — Urkuma’s sole member.
Taking avant-garde head on, De Santis’ compositions sound as if he’s spent equal amounts of time in the free jazz circuit as he has as a foley artist for films. From the white noise intro of “Achmed Giedik” to the sound of a jostling water tank rocking “Panta Nifta Scotini,” it’s hard to tell what’s a field recording and what’s refracted sound collage. One thing De Santis does keep on discriminatory lock-down, however, is music. He adds errant notes and calm swells of instrumental sound occasionally, but this album steers thoroughly away from the realm of melody, rhythm and any other basics of song. It’s not work which will command a listener’s attention, but it’s well-suited to break the silence or monotony of multi-tasking and more adventurous than typical ambient music.