Published Sep 24, 2019Alessandro Cortini's latest work, VOLUME MASSIMO, is a melodic exploration of textures and layers. The album follows on the heels of Cortini's previous solo work under his own now, Avanti, which, like VOLUME MASSIMO, was smooth and fluid. Opening track "AMORE AMARO" was a bit of a leftover from the Avanti sessions, according to Cortini, and features recordings from his own family conversations (in Italian, of course).
VOLUME MASSIMO is Cortini's first solo album that features natural guitar. It makes sense that he'd want to return to his roots as a musician, and the added raw instrument makes the record sound less synthetic as a result.
It's also meditative. "BATTICUORE" is a five-minute epic, somehow spanning centuries that take no time at all. Full of soft highs and organic-sounding high hats and a smooth beat underneath the electronic synth, the track is essentially a build-up halfway through the album for the rest. It grows like a soundtrack; it's easy to close your eyes and imagine yourself flying above a mysterious new map, perhaps riding a dragon over a new land, a sword sheathed on your back, or firing a bow and arrow at an enemy invader. The song's artificial ending brings you back to reality, though. You're not in Azeroth; you're at home, and you're listening to electronic music. And yet, somehow, the dream felt so real.
The thickly layered "MOMENTI" is an excellent continuation of the epic journey the album takes; you're halfway through the forest, almost out of the darkness. "MOMENTI" shimmers; you see the dew on the grass in the morning sunrise.
It's easy to take VOLUME MASSIMO as an experiment in soundtrack styles or film scoring. Alessandro Cortini explores new levels and layers here with his production and composing, and delivers a strong, multi-faceted album as a result. The eight exploratory tracks make VOLUME MASSIMO an instrumental masterpiece that adds to an already incredible body of work by the gifted and skilled composer. If anything, it's too short. (Mute)