An emotionally absorbing, vibrant and sensitive personal voyage
Matteo Uggeri is one multifaceted and emblematic sound/noise designer artist from Italy—also one founder member of the chamber post-rock collective Sparkle in Grey. His usual signature can be described as composite ambient sceneries where sonic textures meet story-telling minimal sketches and expanding downtempo vibes.
In this new release he collaborates with Giulio Aldinucci, who is a seducing and creative electroacoustic soundscaper whose production (in solo or in collaboration, notably with Francesco Giannico) is largely recognized in the DIY indie community with a fancy for mesmeric, chilled-out then discreet electronic ambient music.
Bureau is an emotionally absorbing, vibrant and sensitive personal voyage through a vast array of emotions, tone colors, flexible tones and kinetic electronic impulses. This is mostly one electronic and ambient-centered atmospheric album with a stylistic inclination for hypnotic organic textures (as in the ravishing “Fire Dome”) and minimal-tinged chilled out soundscapes with more abstract sounds and airy clicks and cuts (in “Inceneritore” “Ghiaccio”), even flirting with glitch-esque vibes (“Ghiaccio”) and hauntology (in the eerie and weirdly “Zoo”).
An easily recommended listening and catchy electronic effort to consider if you are into post-minimal techno, IDM and syncretic ambient waves. Somewhere between Christian Fennesz, Microstoria, Oval, Hecq, and Beequeen.
Philippe Blache (Igloo Magazine)
August 23, 2020
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I had already registered the return of ADN Records, erstwhile a cassette label with some great releases (New 7th music, Amok, Pascal Comelade, Bourbonese Qualk etc) in the 80s. They were called (not by me) the Italian version of Recommended Records. They have come back, already some time ago and picked up on a generation of ‘younger’ musicians. Matteo Uggeri took hundreds of photos of his workplace in a ’70s building and that became the inspiration for this work with Giulio Aldinucci. They both use field recordings, but Aldinucci melts the re-processed field recordings into drones and Uggeri into beats. These beats should not be understood as a bunch of big 4/4 rhythms, but minimalist drum patterns of a dark nature. It fits the ditto dark drones as produced by Aldinucci, that are sometimes pretty straight forward sustaining clouds of sound, but most of the time also add a small melodic touch to them. I have no idea where these field recordings were made, only recognizing the fanfare on the street in ‘Chinese New Year‘ and some wind/rain/water sounds in other pieces, or vast empty parking space. Sometimes the beats produced by Uggeri seem almost absent, such as in ‘Inceneritore‘, but maybe they are even more spaced out here. I think it is quite a clever move to work with field recordings in the way these gentlemen do; just treating them into big chunks of abstract ambient music has been done quite enough, but adding minimalist rhythms and re-shaping field recordings into lovely chunks of melodic ambient is also perhaps not unique, but it is not done to death yet (at least, not that I know) and as such, this is a great album.
Frans De Waard (Vital Weekly n. 1246)
Matteo Uggeri (field recordings e drones) degli Sparkle in Grey e Giulio Aldinucci (field recordings e beats), sono gli autori di Bureau, un esordio oscuro, fatto di ambient ed elettronica, suoni, rumori, piccole vibrazioni, pulsioni industriali. Il duo si muove lungo coordinate di non facile lettura, con un sound minimale che descrive senza stereotipi (Fire dome), ipnotizza (Inceneritore), diviene soundtrack di un viaggio del tutto personale (Ghiaccio). Ovviamente un lavoro del genere rischia di essere ermetico ai più, dark nel suo incedere straniante e inquieto (Zoo), a cavallo tra enigmatico sperimentalismo, glitch, ambient e noise. La partnership con la storica ADN certifica l’assoluta vena avanguardistica dei due, in una sorta di suite di 40 minuti che sviluppa il tema dell’alienazione della vita lavorativa attraverso field recordings catturati esternamente, loopati e rimodellati in beat, ritmiche, melodie arcane ed elementi drone. La lucida follia del disco non risparmia Dead flag beat e Chinese new year, mentre il finale di Inside the Bureau si avvale dei campionamenti di chitarra acustica di My dear killer e di quelli di batteria di Mattia Costa. Disco affascinante ma estremamente criptico.
Luigi Cattaneo (ProgressivaMente)
6 Gennaio 2021