We are used to find the most experimental and ethereal ambient music coming from northern latitudes, so it is surprising to discover that the hand behind Framework's themes is the one of Alessio Premoli, a musician based in Milan: the sounds and atmospheres unfolded by this multi-instrumental player are not the ones to be expected from a Mediterranean country. However, a bit of research cast light on this.
Framework is Premoli's first EP under the moniker Chelidon Frame and it collects recordings made between 2012 and 2014, some of them unpublished before and others released previously as part of other projects.
The album opens, appropriately, with 'Intro': a short piece of noise that is just a prelude to 'Taikonauta'. This theme starts with a beautiful guitar melody that slowly transforms into a repetitive and percusive motif over which an unsettling organ sound gets imposed, changing the original atmosphere into a thicker one, bordering on atonality but not falling into it. Finally a deep and martial percussion appears (taiko drums, maybe?).
'JikSven' is a theme previously released as part of the IFAR Musique Concréte Malmusic Table's compilation. It starts slowly, with a deep pad and Premoli playing electronically distorted guitar riffs over it, besides some watery effects and samples. Everything goes on before a trip-hop loop appears, and the theme slowly fades away.
'Cosmic Hypnosis' was also included in another IFAR Musique Concréte compilation, titled Concrete Concrete. Odd vocal samples open a theme of experimental space-music: drone percussion and industrial pads create an atmospheric soundtrack to images that could be of the empty spaceship 'Discovery' from 2001: a space odissey. Unfortunately, the almost-silence soundscape is broken at the end with an unnecessary melody of synth.
'Nvs_k3' is neither a new theme, but Premoli recover it from his only EP published under the moniker Prospettiva Nevskij. It is a very good continuation of the previous track, keeping the minimalistic atmosphere at the beginning, but slowly evolving towards greater complexity, although not developing any melody at all. Also the sounds are brighter. In its last third it brings back the droning percussion from 'Cosmic Hypnosis', making both themes appear as a single one, divided in two parts.
The album closes with 'Antartica', the longest piece in the whole. For almost twelve minutes, Chelidon Frame tries to move the listener to the white loneliness of the antarctic desert. To do so, he uses drone sounds, occasional metalic hits and a total absence of harmony in the whole first half. In the second half, comes peace: pads emerge out of the deep and Premoli sketches a minimalistic harmonic progression, very evocative of the extensive white plains.
Considering that it is a compilation of tracks recorded along two years, Framework is a very consistent and uniform work, which does not suffer even with some more or less unfortunate choices (that ending to 'Cosmic Hypnosis'). Chelidon Frame's work is a very good representation of experimental music, from the North in appareance, but made in the South.