Polmo Polpo The Science Of Breath Review

BBC Review

More from the Canadian cutting edge as Sandro Perri wheels out his post rock/dub...

Olli Siebelt 2002

With the recent successful Mutek festival in Montreal and several key releases by labels like Suction, Constellation and Mille Plateaux, this year could see Canada really coming on to the world stage full on in terms of new underground and electronic music. And if this release is anything to go by - 2002 looks to be very promising indeed.

Polmo Polpo is the musical output of one Sandro Perri, who also happens to run the Toronto based Audi Sensa label. Taking a major influence from labels like Basic Channel or Mille Plateaux, Perri operates in a strange netherworld between avant-dub and more post-rock influences. Yet, unlike many others, he captures enough few twists and turns along way to showcase a true mark of respect rather than blatant thievery.

The Science Of Breath is a compilation of material Polmo Polpo have released over the past two years on Audi Sensa plus four brand new tracks especially recorded for this release. Like other new music entities like Apartment B and Carpark, there seems to be a slight rock influence to some of the tracks, something it seems is deeply rooted in Canadian music these days. They like their guitars, but never resort to being constrained by the conformity of the rock, indie or "post-rock" genres.

Throughout this 8 track CD, various textures are mixed and experimented with but always rooted in a deep, murky dub sound, constantly keeping the music in a state of musical fog; it's asound that easily separates him from most other musicians currently operating out of Canada.

For example, "Oarca" resembles the sound of sheet metal blowing in a hurricane while a 4/4 techno track can be heard in the distant rumble. "Acqua" takes on the Basic Channel sound full on and transplants it to a hot sweaty summer night in Brasil. "Rottura" on the other hand, mixes sampled processed guitar loops over a dark pan-delay, eventually echoing (quite literally) the work of Mike Ink's Gas project.

Where Perri really outdoes himself however, is on the closing "Riva", which sneaks up on you quietly before kicking in to a deep dubby and scratchy track - a dark 4/4 rhythm accentuated by a gorgeous slide guitar like sample and incredibly sexy sub-bass line that acts like a snake, darting in and out of the rhythm bed. This track just begs to be played on a huge sound system.

Lurking in a twilight world somewhere between dusk and dark, between rhythm and texture, this is ambience at its most sultry, its most luxurious. The Science of Breath is a winner in every sense.

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