Pavement Narrows

This one opens with harsh, swarming noises which remind me of Astral Social Club, but then the rhythm comes in and it goes in a different direction. Harsh organ drones and scrambled feedback, but also slow, pulsating beats. There does seem to be a reverence to melody, as well as suspenseful pacing, but it’s still intense and blown-out and overpowering. During the lengthier “Masu”, things fall apart and then start phasing back together. The album is filled with flying sparks and shrapnel, and “Salmon Run” is particularly bruising. There’s calmer moments, too, but for a lot of these tracks you might want to wear a helmet while listening. It’s incredible, though.
– The answer is in the beat

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– Blow Up (ITA)

Dal caos al silenzio, dal ritmo alla stasi, dalla concretezza post-industriale delle macchine alle astrazioni di moti naturali impalpabili: è un itinerario di ricerca che oscilla tra antonimi concettuali quello tracciato da Ennio Mazzon nel suo recente “Pavement Narrows”.
Le sue undici tracce, dall’abituale forma libera, riassumono in una sequenza di concise stanze sonore comunicanti le une con le altre l’ampiezza del terreno espressivo di Mazzon. Superato il vortice urticante dell’incipit “Hunting Souvenirs”, il lavoro alterna ulteriori passaggi di rumore abrasivo, dalla marcata impronta fisica (“Salmon Run”, “Marineat Nighttime”) a dilatazioni ambientali (“Add Ten To Nine”) e saturazioni granulose (“Tryst”), pure scosse da fremiti e impulsi ritmici a tratti particolarmente decisi (“Masu”).
Mazzon sembra affidare ai due brani finali la sintesi di un’esperienza creativa e d’ascolto trascendente, frutto di un’incessante intersezione di piani in forza della quale il rumore si fa liquido, la materia evapora e il suono si amplifica in una dimensione di naturale, soverchiante libertà.
Music won’t save you

It seems to be a while since I last heard something from Ennio Mazzon, who first came to my attention when he had some self-released CDRs on his Ripples label, but in the end it was more his work with Gianluca Favaron that got reviewed, a project called Zbeen.
I believe I didn’t review his solo ‘Xuan’ album from 2013. Time for a sort of come back then? It seems, judging by the eleven pieces on this new release, that Mazzon made some changes in his approach towards music. In the old days it was all about electronically processed field recordings, creating somewhat chaotic patterns of ambient/drone/click’n cut music, now it’s about the use of ‘metal-scraping distortions, electronic rhythms and never ending sound object struggles’; still the man with a computer, but it seems that he started to think about such things as ‘what would it take to create a song?’. That’s what he essentially does here; creating loud and crude beats, hazy (shoe-hazy?) fuzzy guitar like sounds and sometimes a melody. I am not sure why he decided to make all of these pieces flowing into each other, as that seems to be not working properly with the notion of creating a song. But that’s what Mazzon does: each tracks flows into the next.
That’s something I didn’t particular like. Sometimes it seems that some of these songs are stuck in a short frame, a loop of a rhythm, fuzz and distortion, but not yet has developed into a proper song. With the fuzz and chorus pedal pushed to the floor it easily sounds like a ‘noise pop song’ but that might not always be the case. And sometimes it is just a bit too long for my taste. C’est la vie, I guess. But having said that, I enjoyed the overall touch of this. It is always good to see someone break out of the comfort zone and try out something new and while not entirely yet, I think this all sounds quite promising for another musical road to follow. Maybe not wait another three years with a follow-up?
FdW

Ennio Mazzon is an engineer and experimental musician based out of Berlin, the founder of Ripples Recordings, and a really interesting character in the field of laptop music not least because his work is realized in part through custom software he has developed for himself and others. His new album Pavement Narrows, off Discreetrecords, offers a candy-colored take on glitchy electronic, a far cry from the dark ambience of his last full-length solo outing, 2013’s Xuan.
A steady current of choking white noise is buffeted by delirious beats– there’s something of a celestial, jazzy noisiness to these soundscapes that sends you twisting and lunging, stopping and starting through a maze of machinery. Melody vaguely flickers in and out of view within the racing, shimmering wall of simulacra. Pavement Narrows is not only very stylistically distinct from Mazzon’s past solo work, but it smacks little of the chilly austerity of the work of possible influences like Ryoji Ikeda and Alva Noto; true, it is immersive and (in part, at least) meant to recall a meta-reflection on the medium on which it was created, but it is a joyful noise above all, bright and brash, and liable to knock you off your feet. A really powerful album you need to check out right now, as in the moment you finish reading this sentence.
Foreign Accents

Sound artist Ennio Mazzon‘s full-length follow-up to Xuan is a different beast, one that shimmers like a spaceship instead of clanking like a factory floor. The drama remains intact, although the form has changed: a series of tracks in place of a single extended piece. The tones are more elongated than abrupt on this album, while the distortion levels are pushed to the extreme. Imagine lasers and organs playing in tandem while Gort’s visor is raised. Forget Close Encounters of the Third Kind; this is The Day the Earth Stood Still.
While Pavement Narrows is not a dance album, it does contain its pulses and beats, especially prevalent on “Masu.” The bass moves one to action; one might even approach the dance floor. But then what? Perhaps it’s best to look around, to get one’s bearings, to feel a frisson of fear should a soulless bartender turn a head, exposing illuminated eyes. Disjointed alien beats reemerge on “Salmon Run,” attempting to jut through an increasing bowl of haze. If Cericelcicles was Mazzon’s pop/anti-pop statement, Pavement Narrows is his club/anti-club statement. (There is actually one dance track, but it’s 16 seconds long and contains only 19 beats.) The artist continues to confound expectations through inversion, holding the most accessible parts of his work underwater until their lungs flood and they cease to struggle.
One of the album’s finest moments is one of repetition. Just as one begins to believe that the tracks are connected by sound yet disconnected by structure, the seventh track repeats the burgeoning theme of the first. This rising two-chord motif is an artist’s wink: there is a method to this madness. One of Mazzon’s strengths is that he plants such structure in chaos, and invites his listeners to a process of discernment. There’s a parable here: if one is able to pinpoint patterns in noise, might one be able to sort through the cacophony of one’s own life to find meaning underneath? And if so, might the path to clarity become one of more distortion, not less? As the listener begins to concentrate on the album’s skeleton rather than its sinews, the pavement narrows.
A Closer Listen

Un vortice totalizzante, abrasivo e dall’impatto inospitale, a cui però non ci si riesce a sottrarre, è quello costruito da Ennio Mazzon in “Pavement narrows”.  Undici tracce, alcune solo una breve transizione,  attraverso le quali il musicista italiano d’istanza a Berlino delinea un universo che giunge caotico solo ad un ascolto superficiale, mostrando invece gradualmente un’attenta e complessa struttura che governa le dinamiche di suoni taglienti e pulsazioni cangianti che, disegnando iniziali accenni melodici, fragorosamente sfociano in potenti deflagrazioni rumorose (“Hunting souvenirs”, “Salmon run”, “Marine at nighttime”) o rimangono sospese in granose e aspre atmosfere contemplative (“Tryst”, “Hideout”). Il flusso risultante è in entrambi i casi denso, avvolgente e a tratti claustrofobico.
Apparentemente  in antitesi rispetto all’unitarietà e alla componente ambientale del precedente  “Xuan”, questo nuovo capitolo ne sviluppa le coordinate rumoristiche e sperimentali . Sicuramente non facilmente assimilabile, “Pavement narrows” è un disco capace di regalare un ampio ventaglio di vivide suggestioni a chi saprà abbandonarsi alla sua trascinante deriva.
SoWhat

‘Pavement Narrows’ is the latest solo release from Ennio Mazzon, and Italian engineer and experimental musician who lives and works in Berlin. A follow-up to his acclaimed album, ‘Xuan’ which was released back in 2013, ‘Pavement Narrows’ takes the history of Mazzon’s solo and collaborative work, and distils it all into eleven intricate, and highly experimental tracks.
Incorporating the sounds of metal scrapings, distortion, electronic rhythms, and the never-ending assault of sound objects struggle, ‘Pavement Narrows’ expands through ripples of delicate melodies and complex arrangements. A wash of varying dynamics, explosions of sound, and powerful strikes, Mazzon uses his new album to artfully create towering sound structures that spring to life, before crashing down on top of you.
The opening track, ‘Hunting Souvenirs’ is a brilliant example of Mazzon’s erratic tendencies, offering a thrilling journey through bursts of statics, jolty electronic tones, and a silver strand of unfolding melody, almost completely hidden throughout the melee, holding it all together. There are few moments of shelter from the constantly evolving assault of ‘Pavement Narrows’, and early on it becomes clear that the album is not so much a static combination of beats and musical notes, but a true force all of its own.
It’s a triumph of exhausting experimental, genuine musical vision, and meticulous programming, and it’s a powerful showing of what music pushed to the very extremes of sound can be.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Anthem: Salmon Run
– Anthem Review

 

While his previous releases, ‘Xuan’ and “Ceriseicicles”, were acclaimed as wholly conceived, and complex, musical work, this new release is completely focused on fragmentation. Instead of one long track, “Pavement Narrows” is a collection of eleven rather short track made of short sound fragments are sequenced in a way to expose their dialectic in dynamics and tones; so barely audible moments follows high volume ones and noisy fragments follows melodic one. The basic form of all track is a quiet start and central crescendo evolving in a quiet end and this framework is able to include the enormous details generated by the treatment of samples.
“Hunting souvenirs” starts quietly with a drone that is suddenly juxtaposed by a noisy loop and, after a brief moment of rest, evolves with the juxtaposition of layers of sound creating a tick mass of sound. “Add ten to nine” is a brief interlude based on a loop. “Masu”, the longest track of this album, is based on a rhythmic structure variated to create a center for the samples juxtaposed. “Splay” is an interlude for drone and noise to “Salmon run” which is divided in a drone oriented first part and in a noise oriented second part which find a resting place in “War of currents” with its low volume noises. The return, in a modified form, of one of the sample featured in the first track let “Tryst” sounds as the beginning of the second part of this release focused on the exploration of details rather than impact so it features movements in the aural fields rather than juxtaposition. “American grip” introduce “Marine at nighttime” which, after the initial fragments, evolves in an almost noise wall ending with the return to his beginning. “Hideout” adds layers of drone during his development and “Syrup trap” closes this release adding instead layers of sharp noises.
This is a truly demanding work for the listener and a challenge to the current listening habit: if heard with distraction or in a noisy environment, it’s probable that every nuance could be rather missed, so, it’s not designed as a commodity but as a true work of art. Essential.
Chain D.L.K.

 

“Pavement Narrows” is the first full-length solo album from Italian musician Ennio Mazzon since 2013’s “Xuan”. Eschewing the identifiable field recordings heard in previous work, the new release focuses Mazzon’s audio programming talents on dense, heavy walls of noise, with hard-edged electronic timbres rising like sheets of sonic glass from the tide. Even the quieter moments sound more like low-volume versions of louder passages, rather than coming from a place of quietness — but such is the overwhelming intensity and majesty of the loud sections that it all seems to make a satisfying sort of sense.
The press release describes Mazzon’s intentions for “Pavement Narrows” as being oriented more towards a distorted version of ‘pop’ than previous works. What ‘pop’ seems to mean in practice is more regular metres, less indeterminacy, discrete riffs, and sometimes recognisable instrument sounds such as cymbals and drum kit. The album is split into 11 tracks, and although they run continuously from one to the next, and several melodies return at a later point in the album, this is definitely an assemblage of discrete pieces rather than a single coherent work in the manner of “Xuan”. Driving tension and epic transcendence is the order of the day, while some of the titles hint at the wildernesses of Canada, a country where Mazzon recently spent some time (‘Salmon Run’, ‘Syrup Trap’).
I miss the uncertainty and bewilderment of “Xuan”, but “Pavement Narrows” is a more confident and gripping show of force. Despite the pop orientation, the album resists the easy option of breaking out the four-to-the-floor kick drum — beats are largely implied rather than shoved in the listener’s face (take opener ‘Hunting souvenirs’ as an example). If you like your noise intense and accessible, with riffs that carry on swimming round your head after they’re gone, “Pavement Narrows” delivers the goods.
Fluid Radio


Pavement Narrows arriva a distanza di due anni dall’ultimo album di Ennio Mazzon, quello Xuan che nelle sue eleganti espansioni aveva portato a compimento un processo iniziato nel 2010 con Azure Allochiria, dopo le parentesi ambient d’inizio carriera.
Il sound-artist trevigiano riprende il suo discorso sul digitale, supportato per l’occasione dalla Discreetrecords di Attilio Novellino, e il fatto che questo disco venga diviso per tracce ci dimostra come sia sempre alla ricerca di altre dinamiche con cui far interagire i propri strumenti. Ne esce infatti un suono dai margini ulteriormente definiti, ma che non corre il rischio di rimanere inscatolato dentro particolari restrizioni di forma, anzi: c’è posto per tutta una serie di esplorazioni, al cui interno succedono tantissime cose ricche di colore e vari gradi di tensione. Questa suddivisione si riflette in qualche modo sullo svolgimento dell’album: oltre ai flussi destrutturati tra campioni discontinui si affacciano ora dei beat in sezione e una ciclicità palpabile, anche se non mancano i momenti in cui il tutto attraversa punti di calma apparente (“Hideout”), mentre delle sottili sfumature si infiltrano tra un loop e l’altro. Dove nei capitoli passati c’era una predisposizione a lasciarsi immergere nei suoni, qua invece l’approccio si fa più coinvolgente, e che ci si muova dagli impulsi vibrati di “Masu” alle magnifiche articolazioni in crescendo di “Salmon Run”, passando per il noise fluido di “Marine At Nighttime”, l’ascolto rimane comunque incentrato sullo sviluppo di particolari effetti e il modo in cui si rapportano tra di loro.
Pavement Narrows eredita da suoi predecessori il gusto per le accumulazioni così come l’immancabile tendenza melodica, e permette a Mazzon di allargare il proprio discorso aprendosi verso nuove prospettive che per ora ci risultano davvero efficaci. Sapete già che lo consigliamo caldamente, vero?
– The New Noise

La musica del nostro è un’elettronica sperimentale tanto a-melodica quanto destrutturata e impastata con un noise freddo e meccanico. Sono tutti pezzi in cui è difficile trovare un riferimento, qualcosa che permetta di orientarsi e, forse, questo non è l’obbiettivo di Mazzon, che pare concentrare tutte le sue energie sullo sfondare timpani, esagerare con la distorsione, caricare ogni beat di una potenza viscerale e gelida allo stesso tempo. Picchia, sperimenta, esagera ed esalta ciò che l’elettronica può fare in campo sperimentale. Ecco, quindi, che “Pavement Narrows” racchiude più aspetti dell’avanguardia contemporanea andando ad insinuarsi nel sempre labile confine tra musica elettronica e noise.
Musica Difficile Italiana

 

Zbeen

Zbeen è il progetto di Ennio Mazzon e Gianluca Favaron che, ad oggi, ha prodotto tre lavori che esplorano un’idea di suono come descrittore di un processo preorganizzato. Il primo di essi, K-Frame, è dedicato ad un’idea di suono K-dimensionale, cioè i cui parametri sono i valori di un insieme di vettori linearmente indipendenti; il secondo, Stasis, è dedicato alle superfici che questi descriverebbero, ed il terzo, Eigen, alle trasformazioni lineari. Se questo sembra poco artistico è perché dell’ultimo paio di secoli è andata perduta l’idea di relazione tra musica e matematica: l’idea che una nota sia descritta da un’altezza non è dovuta al fatto che sia segnata più o meno in alto sul pentagramma, ma al fatto che ci sia una concezione geometrica della musica. Inoltre, l’ideale romantico dell’ispirazione ha oscurato il fatto che lo sviluppo dei suoni nel tempo i.e., il significato della musica, sia un processo pensato a priori, ovvero il frutto di una costruzione razionale.

*** K-Frame

Le pulsazioni di Grunnlag aprono K-Frame e sono il centro di gravità attorno al quale ruotano i vari samples, che si snodano lungo la durata del brano. Sentret Dot è invece costruito sulla sovrapposizione di un drone a basso volume che, anche se viene coperto da un altro drone e da, probabilmente, dei field recordings, rimane per poi riapparire quando gli altri elementi della traccia esauriscono la loro funzione. La sovrapposizione di onde complesse, alla base di Enhet Lengde, rende bene il concetto alla base del disco, le K-dimensioni, che è chiuso da B Retning che utilizza la stessa struttura compositiva nella prima parte del pezzo, che termina con l’ingresso di un drone che introduce il ritorno dei suoni iniziali con una mutata struttura ritmica.

*** Stasis

Stasis è composto da due tracce: Skyr Stillheten e Flytende Stillheten. La prima traccia parte con un sibilo a frequenze relativamente alto-frequenza che viene rafforzato da altri sibili e piccoli interventi di rumori. L’impressione è che sia il movimento dello spettro dei segnali nel tempo, che descrive una superficie, l’elemento di partenza della prima parte della composizione, mentre la seconda si evolve a partire da sequenze di droni lisci e rumori, rugosi, mentre la parte finale riprende i sibili di partenza e li inserisce in una struttura ritmica. La seconda traccia inizia con una lenta sovrapposizione di suoni circolari che si sommano fino ad essere sepolti da un leggero ronzio che quasi si spegne per lasciare spazio ad un drone a bassa frequenza, punteggiato da alcuni brevi rumori.

*** Eigen
L’impatto con (ε, δ), prima traccia di Eigen, è spiazzante, poiché la struttura è inizialmente molto più scomposta rispetto alle masse sonore regolari di Stasis, e discende lentamente verso la regolarità verso la seconda traccia del disco. Chiaramente la regolarità è dovuta alla maggiore lunghezza dell’elemento sonoro che non espone una struttura pseudo-ritmica che nasce dalla successione di brevi frammenti distinti. Soundness sfrutta la separazione stereo per spostare il suono nello spazio uditivo, mentre A – λI applica lo stesso concetto ma ai volumi, intervallando masse sonore ad alto volume ad una texture a basso volume. [1 k; 0 1] ha una prima parte che sovrappone le strutture dei due brani precedenti per evolversi in una seconda parte in cui è lo sfondo sonoro ad emergere sui rumori. U+222B chiude il lavoro con una successione di brevi frammenti sonori che sembrano derivanti dalla scomposizione e dalla riorganizzazione, per fare emergere le discontinuità del suono.

Rimangono dei lavori da ascoltare con attenzione e che sfidano un’idea d’ascolto distratto, o in bassa qualità audio, che oggi sembra imporsi, nonostante i riproduttori portatili sembrassero poter produrre, grazie all’uso delle cuffie, un’attenzione maggiore per via dell’isolamento acustico. Di fatto, progetti come questi sfidano l’idea di musica come sottofondo sonoro per le attività quotidiane, e riportano l’idea di ascolto come analisi non solo di chi ascolta ma anche di chi suona.
FLUX

 

Différances, Mazzon + Perletta + Rosati

“L’equilibrio tra le parti è ciò che mi ha più impressionato durante le registrazioni. È stato un equilibrio complesso e lo si può percepire anche all’interno del disco. In linea di massima, si tratta di un suono denso e stratificato, eppure non ho incontrato difficoltà nel capire quando era necessario intervenire, così come quando era opportuno lasciare spazio a Fabio Perletta e Franz Rosati. È stata pura improvvisazione, senza regole e senza obiettivi predefiniti.”

Tre amici veri, un solo pomeriggio e un piccolo studio a disposizione. Spettatori non paganti: uno. Correva l’anno 2014. Il palco del Terracava – Echi E Visioni Dagli Abissi l’occasione per ritrovarsi a Roma e, magari, provare a condividere vecchie e nuove idee. Ennio Mazzon, Fabio Perletta e Franz Rosati hanno deciso di fonderle in “Différances” (2015), album pubblicato alcuni mesi fa dall’etichetta colombiana Éter Editions, gestita da Miguel Isaza e Alejandro Henao, devoti a drone, esperimenti e soundscaping.
I produttori italiani – rispettivamente alla guida di altrettante splendide realtà artigianali quali Ripples Recordings, Farmacia901 e Nephogram Editions – provano così a porre un freno alle loro attitudini spesso tendenti all’introversione per favorire il divenire di un intenso, e finora inedito, connubio a tre. Ciò nonostante, “Différances” non difetta di creatività. Le sette tracce senza titolo, la cui unica differenza nominale è una cifra progressiva, si compongono di matrici sonore surreali, a tratti ipnotiche.
L’apertura, Untitled 01, è in salita. I microsuoni si addensano poco alla volta. Fruscii di fondo e altri frammenti digitali gravitano liberi. Comincia così il sotteso crescendo acustico impostato con cura dal triadico manipolare. Lo schema compositivo non subisce variazioni in Untitled 02, perché parte del medesimo flusso di coscienza nel pieno di distorti bagliori di luce in note. Gli ultimi secondi, però, sembrano caricarsi di maggiore tensione. Untitled 03 riparte da gorgoglii elettronici e brevi e scariche soniche.
I rumori meccanici e le sempre differenti pulsioni, ora riprodotte in serie, si trasformano poco a poco in autentiche percussioni ossessive: Untitled 04 è sana dimostrazione di grande alchimia di intenti. Se l’immediata cura uditiva giace nel librarsi di uno sciame di bollicine e riverberi, l’elettricità invadente di Untitled 05 provvede a diradarlo. Complici fischi e non accidentali pause, il suono appare, a tratti, più spezzato, ma godibile. Untitled 06 desta, invece, curiosità come vibrante esempio di caos calmo.
Infine l’insinuarsi di uno spesso bordone, tra manipolazioni oblique e una tavolozza di effetti. Untitled 07 si configura non come il battito piu aggressivo del trio, semmai come un frangente dal ritmo curato ed elegante. Minuti fatti di attesa, di pace e di mistero. Dopodiché, l’improvvisa propulsione e ridondanti silenzi interrotti solo da segnali acustici. Tre elementi che rimandano, in ordine sparso, ai contorni delle firme su carta di Ennio Mazzon, Fabio Perletta e Franz Rosati. Less is not more.
electronique.it


Sette tracce improvvisate prive di titolo suggellano affinità e divergenze tra tre sperimentatori italiani, operanti nei vasti territori del soundscaping e delle modulazione ambientale del rumore. Ennio Mazzon, Fabio Perletta e Franz Rosati necessitano di ben poche presentazioni per chi segue i sotterranei territori di ricerca nazionale, che ciascuno dei tre continua ad attraversare con la propria sensibilità, singolarmente, in una pluralità di collaborazioni e per il tramite delle piccole etichette da loro gestite. L’incontro tra i tre ha condotto alla realizzazione di un lavoro simbolicamente intitolato “Différances” e frutto di un’unica session di improvvisazione.
Più che le differenze espressive tra i protagonisti, il titolo sembra riferirsi al carattere obliquo e surreale (nel senso di diverso dal reale) della registrazione, nella quale Mazzon, Perletta e Rosati liberano, secondo modalità tra loro complementari, i rispettivi codici espressivi, incentrati su suoni reali, effetti e manipolazioni elettroniche.
Ne risulta un’enigmatica galleria auditiva, nella quale elementi deliberati e accidentali si fondono in un flusso narrativo coerente, che come tale supera le differenze delle matrici originarie in senso non solo acusmatico, fino a smarrire la propria identità in un polimero concettualmente ambientale.
Così, ad esempio, la grana ipnotica sulla quale si librano pulsazioni irregolari della traccia d’apertura scolora nelle frequenze disturbate della seconda, mentre la natura meccanica delle alchimie del terzetto affiora con decisione nei sibili e nei rilanci dinamici della quinta traccia (la cui natura concreta rimanda in qualche misura alle esperienze recenti dei “colleghi” Novellino e Rosi) e nella prima parte della conclusiva elegia di sedici minuti, che passa in rassegna i diversi gradi della saturazione elettrica, dal rumore alla persistenza ottundente.
Sono questi, del resto, gli estremi delle differenze lucidamente ricondotte a unità dai tre sound artist in questo provvisorio stadio della loro infinita esplorazione di territori percettivi sempre più ambiziosi e sconfinati.
Music Won’t Save You

The names Ennio Mazzon, Fabio Perletta, and Franz Rosati will be well-known to anyone following the Italian ambient electronics scene of late, both through their own musical output and through the labels they run (Ripples, Farmacia, and Nephogram, respectively). Although all three are no strangers to collaboration, their new release “Différances” on Columbian label Éter is their first work as a trio, capturing a live performance at nan in Rome. Mazzon has worked extensively with field recordings, and Rosati has been known to wield a guitar, but this album focuses entirely on processed electronic sounds, at least as far as my ears could tell.

Hums, buzzes, shudders, thuds, glitch, crackle, and patinas of noise: these are the main ingredients of “Différances”, layered on but not too thickly, each tone and timbre still clearly distinguishable. There are many pulses and clicks dotted across the seven untitled tracks, providing rhythmic propulsion without ever sounding much like a stereotypical beat — I didn’t get the sense that this is music made for dancing to. I did, however, get the feeling it is intended to be played LOUD, preferably with a kilowatt sub-woofer. Though enjoyable enough in a home listening situation, the towers and plateaus of noise often seemed to strain for more volume, more energy to work with (which is unsurprising given that it is a live recording). Rarely did warm soothing chords appear, but when they did the transition wasn’t jarring — noise and tone, pattern and glitch were well-integrated and somehow intuitively musical (whatever that means), regardless of how jagged or smooth the timbre.

In fact, I found those thudding rhythms often had the same effect as ambient chords, in the sense of being absorbed in the moment rather than being relentlessly driven on to the next hook or climax. Loud and heavy can sometimes be just as meditative and transportive as quiet and expansive, as the Italian trio here prove. The seven tracks seem quite similar in approach, without a great deal of variety, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying this music more and more through several playbacks. If you’re on the lookout for well-crafted, engaging new electronic music, this album comes highly recommended.
Fluid Radio

Infinite Grain Interview

http://infinitegrain.com/dialogue-08-ennio-mazzon/

The art of sound is a very special craft, scientific, mathematic, at the same time psychological, perceptive, aesthetic. When it comes to audio, the possibilities of merging the multiple technological territories with the infinite potential of the invisible technologies of listening dictate new ways of developing sonic dimensions.

Ennio Mazzon is the kind of artist who is not only able to expose their own perspectives towards the technological approach, but also to define his own appreciations of space, temporality, complexity, texture, layers, dimension, etc. He is able to not just play in the macro scales, but also to go to the sample, the micro, introducing a complex network of surreal sonic relationships and manipulations.

Such process expands the listener into whats beneath the sonic surface, the hidden world of the micro-structures that actually create the sound, going deep inside it to float in the infinite/infinitesimal scales in which resonance is present both in the macro structures and the details towards the microsonic; here even in the data realm, since the algorithmic processes present in Mazzon’s work are also the finest, developinghis sounds and compositions often using tools constructed by him, using tools like max/msp & jitter, processing, supercollider, among others but also integrating his own explorations of physics, mathematics and aesthetics.

Here the art work is translated between languages, interconnected, selected and shaped by the artist in different stages of the production of sonic activity, dimension, place, state, communication, information, structure, dynamic, variation, etc. Mazzon’s art is one of a kind, mathematically imagined but poetically exposed, conjured as a bridge between sonic appreciations able to explain things from the experience of sound itself, thus generating a special center of listening where the artist’s appreciation of the universe, his vision of the cosmos, is what matters. Therea thousands of experiences are awaiting.

– Hi Ennio, thanks for accepting this invitation. What are you listening right now?

Hi Miguel, thank you for inviting me!

At the moment I’m listening to some of my favourite albums from my archive, very heterogeneous listenings, from electronic pop to post-metal, artists and bands like Junior Boys, Labradford, Ulver, Father Murphy and Neurosis.

I haven’t listened to many new albums this year, however if I had to pick one recent release that caught my attention I would choose “No Mention” by Ezra Buchla. It is very intense and stimulating, I’m pretty sure it is my favorite album of the year.

– How did you start exploring sound and what motivates you to keep on it nowadays?

All started when I realized to have a limitless potential instrument right here on my desk. To me computer music has the mysterious charm of a blank page, it is extremely fascinating because it is not linked to any physical gesture. Curiously this is also one of the most common criticism usually addressed to digitally created music. However, the absence of an actual instrumental interaction and an energetic coupling with the instrument is to me the opportunity to deeply explore the essence of sound without having to rely on predefined objects, techniques, structures or schemes. It is this abstract and complete sense of freedom that drives my creativity.

– I wonder how is the relationship/importance of technology in your aesthetic pursuits and how programming in tools like Max or Processing has influenced what you seek and create? What do you find special on working with such platforms?

Technology is the core element of my works and in fact my activity is almost entirely based on the development of my own software tools and applications. Programming is essential, it gives me the sense of freedom that I need, something that I could not experience working with sequencers, with timelines and pre-packaged instruments.

– What’s interests you on microsound and how that way of conceiving audio has changed how you work? It is in a way related to your process with data such as in creations like Micropony, Microfield, Typo, and other granular experimental apps?

I am extremely fascinated by sound’s particle theory but I’ve never developed anything exclusively related to microsound. I did study granular synthesis in detail and I programmed several granular effects with Max, Pure Data and Supercollider, but just for educational purposes.

However the notion of the sonic grain triggered in me the desire to experiment the effects of windowing signals in creative ways and not necessarily on a micro scale. For instance while working on Xuan, the album that was published in 2013 by Nephogram, I developed a dynamic envelope generator that, although totally unrelated to the micro scale, used a technique that I directly taken from one of my granular patch.

Contrary to what the name might suggest, Micropony and Microfield, two of my digital instruments, do not rely on microsound’s concepts, they are micro just because I consider them my tiny, cute sonic toys. However Typo, which is still a work in progress, in the end might retain some features that are granular in the strict traditional sense.

– One perfect example of this relationship both with microsound and technology is the software Cconfin you’ve developed for Farmacia901’s Quark project. Could you please tell us about that process behind its creation and also how the scientific concept of the project influenced the aesthetic ideas behind the app?

When I started working on Cconfin, the overall concept was not yet completely defined but Fabio Perletta outlined very clearly his main ideas. He conveyed to me all the insights to work with a precise aesthetic.

I developed the application with a modular structure, there are three separate modules that I called quanta. There is no interaction between the audio generated/processed by the different modules, I wanted to keep them completely independent, as three individual components that do not share any information or data. This was a precise design choice: I wanted the system to be a tool for the composition of complex sonic structures, and maintaining some sort of walls between the different modules was to me a stratagem to force the user to embrace a compositional method that relies on the exploration/tuning of the quanta rather than approaching the composition in an organic way.

The overall result is the superposition of three audio streams, with their own traits and peculiarities, that merge, collide and generate interesting, yet unpredictable, frameworks of sonic events.

In quantum physics, quantum entanglement means that multiple particles are linked together in a way such that the measurement of one particle’s quantum state determines the possible quantum states of the other particles. I wanted to create a system built upon a metaphoric quantum entanglement in the audio domain, therefore in the end the scientific concept played a fundamental role in the development.

– In which ways do you think art/aesthetics is related to science/math in your creative process?

I am an Engineer, I have a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Robotics, my background is entirely technical.

I’ve always had a strong fascination for physics and math and I believe in the artistic potential of such disciplines. To be honest I don’t know if it is correct to say that there’s art in science, but that’s because I’d rather avoid a pointless discussion on what is art and what is not, but surely I believe there’s beauty in numbers and equations, there’s beauty in maths and its notation, and for sure some algorithms have a complex and fascinating elegance.

However, even if loosely inspired by a scientific approach, my creative process is driven by a pure and simple desire of experimenting with software and sounds.

– You often use to work in a multimedia output, for example making reactions between graphic and sound generation, as you did in your latest release Ceriselcicles. How important is that link for you and in which specific ways your visual process affects the sonic ones and vice versa? How was that present in the mentioned album?

I like to work with images and sounds, they are both suitable for doing strange things with software.

However I do not consider audio-visual interaction a fundamental element of my work, at least for the time being. CeriseIcicles is my first accomplished project that makes use of an extended setup explicitly designed to create a link between the two domains, sounds and images.

When I started working on it I just wanted to use an enormous amount of digital distortion to deconstruct and transfigure some short “pop” tracks that I recorded throughout the years. I wanted to give new perspectives to some abandoned audio files, it was a way to recycle my own scraps and to see where the process would have brought me.

Gradually I started incorporating audio-reactive visuals using Processing, I included other sound sources (field recordings) and after a couple of months of adjustments I suddenly realized I had a fully functional digital platform for audio-visual improvisation.

I performed live with such setup just once, last March in Rome during the “TERRACAVA” festival, but I used the audio part of the application quite extensively for recording several improvisations. One of them became CeriseIcicles.

– I find an interesting process happening between the material appearance of your works and transformation in terms of morphology, often intimately related to an improvisational structure. I wonder how is the balance between those real-time processes and compositional activities (such as arranging or editing) in your workflow and how are your ideas towards shaping the materials you get?

Arranging and editing are activities that are pretty much vanished from my workflow. I do not exaggerate when I say that I almost forgot how to use Logic or Ableton.

The live interaction with my software is the only relevant process in the development of my works.

Xuan and CeriseIcicles are entirely improvised and I feel they have a lot in common, from a structural point of view but also for what concerns the processes and methods that I used. Azure Allochiria, my first solo record, is perhaps the only album where editing and post-processing are strongly present.

I think I have replaced the traditional compositional activities with a deep understanding of my digital tools that allows me to compose on the fly.

When I perform live I think in terms of macro sections and such sections create a map in my mind. My role is to develop the connections, to materialize the paths that take me to point A to point B, that allow me to explore the sonic scenery outlined in the map. The interesting aspect is that the map is dynamic and it is likely to change during the performance, but this does not prevent me to maintain the control of the composition, on the contrary it stimulates me to explore new solutions and to develop less obvious sequences. It is like having every time new problems to solve, and this is something that I find exceptionally exciting.

“Every live is problem solving” is a really cool album by Claudio Rocchetti, but it is also my main philosophy.

– In that sense, I wonder how do you approach both simplicity and complexity in your reading of time scales and spatial development. I’ve noticed that in several of your pieces you actually play with this relationship between grain dimensions and massive structures of audio, resulting in very interesting journeys across sonic time scales and the territorial perception. Is that intentional? What do you think on that side?

The constant modulation of the spatial perception is a crucial element in my work. My pieces have a multilayered structure that I use to create a concrete sense of motion.

I like the idea of developing apparently chaotic passages, where the sound sources interweave one another, creating a sense of contraction and dilatation of the distances.

It’s like playing with the zoom of a digital camera, things are continuously brought in and out of focus, the boundaries assumes new meanings and sometime they just disappear.

Taking my last two albums as an example, I think that even the choice of releasing them as long single tracks contributes to give the listener a more acute perception of time which amplifies the subtle link with spatial movements created by the sounds.

– It is interesting that in the progression of your work you’ve moved from a field recording based approach to a wider perspective that although including field recordings, also merges them with electronic sounds. What’s behind that decision?

At the very beginning (2008-2009) the choice of working with field recordings was dictated by a lack of experience in developing my own customized programs.

It was already clear to me that I didn’t want to stick with standard musical production techniques but at the same time I didn’t have the required confidence to build reliable digital instruments.

Therefore I started making collages of natural sounds in order to move away from any sort of musical structure. In hindsight it was the first step towards the destructuration of sounds, which has become afterwards the focal point around which my music develops.

I worked with field recordings approximately from 2008 to 2010 but in parallel I studied computer music and I honed my programming skills.

There are at least a couple of books that I consider fundamental in my education and that I feel are important to mention: “Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance” by Charles Dodge and Thomas A. Jerse and “The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music” by Miller Puckette.

Starting from 2010 onwards I gradually abandoned the collage technique and I almost exclusively used my own programs to make music. The results have become even more abstract and field recordings passed in the background.

Field recordings remain an important part of my work, but from a functional standpoint they are now just an organic element that enriches the digital sceneries of my pieces.

– I wonder if you have a preference towards listening and if there’s a specific way you think your work is better appreciated in terms of the listening act.

On a very personal level I enjoy headphone listening. Regardless of the music genre, I think it is by far the best way to assimilate music.

For what concerns the support I do not have any preference. I don’t mind if people prefer to listen to audio files rather that CDs, vinyls or whatever. I do like high quality audio files and I’m ok with that.

– Is there a way silence is ‘present’ or important in your work? What is your conception of it or your relationship with it?

My works are very dense and noisy, there’s no much space for silence. However this doesn’t mean that I do not appreciate silence.

Silence identifies the temporal limits of sound, there is a start and there’s an end, and there you’ll find silence. It is very important to appreciate such barriers, there’s no point to be afraid of them.

 

CeriseIcicles (Ripples, 2014)
The territories of listening have a multi-dimensional behavior, so combining them through algorithmic systems, exposes the reality of the sonic space into an intimate point that requires new approaches to the notion of proportion, magnitude, layers and events. Ceriselciclesrelates sound to graphics and data elements to tell a story in which fine and massive phenomena are filled with rest and inrush in order to surprise the ear, not only by the use of mixed grains, lean frequencies, frantic field recordings, and exquisite morphological structures but also by a commitment to the delicateness of the gaps in which is achieved a surreal temporal progression and an ongoing questioning of space; examining extremes of texture in contrast to uninhabited corners of the composition, both being the architects of the (un)expected, wizards of an attentive and curious listening placed with caution in an array based on deconstruction.
Infinite Grain

Nuova indagine tra le carni digitali del suono per il nostrano, ma sembrerebbe trasferito a Vancouver, Ennio Mazzon, già recensito da queste parti sia in veste solista che in coppia con Gianluca Favaron sotto la sigla Zbeen. Siamo ancora dalle parti di certa elettronica diciamo sperimentale, giacché ormai si è sperimentato quasi di tutto, con forti inserzioni di field recordings e con l’aggiunta di materiale visivo a completamento del lavoro. Al solito il modus operandi di Mazzon ha un approccio scientifico/matematico/informatico alla materia e scolpisce bit con una formalità algoritmica sicuramente influenzata dal background professionale, ingegneria, dell’autore. Algoritmi però che sono lontani dal produrre output gelido e meramente numerico, impregnati come sono di un notevole carico emotivo che imprime visioni e sensazioni. Interessante le modalità di realizzazione dell’unica lunga traccia che compone l’opera, sperando di aver ben capito, frutto di una meticolosa elaborazione mediante una piattaforma customizzata programmata dallo stesso Mazzon denominata ARTS-LOI, composta da moduli MAX/MSP e Audiomulch che trasformano, rendendoli assolutamente irriconoscibili, le fonti pop (?) in input. L’audio viene inoltre dato in pasto ad uno script in linguaggio Processing per imprimere una serie di effetti visivi a delle foto scattate sulle isole Shetland. Musicalmente la traccia ha un andamento quasi episodico muovendosi con naturalezza tra suggestioni eterogenee, da registrazioni di gabbiani, voci, rumori quotidiani, a pulsazioni ora in attesa smarrita, ora in più decisa fibrillazione, a frequenze disturbate, a glitches più “tradizionali” che punteggiano qua e là il paesaggio sonoro. Mi spiace fare ricorso a un termine di cui spesso abuso, ma l’effetto è molto cinematico: una serie d’incursioni su paesaggi, forse raffigurati nelle foto, forse esistenti da qualche parte, che ne sviscerano e amplificano la forma e i contenuti, reificando all’ennesima potenza suggestioni audio/visive dal nulla (stra)ordinario e spesso impercettibile che si agita negli interstizi delle nostre esistenze. Sicuramente questo è un lavoro molto interessante da avere a portata di… orecchio.
– Alfio Castorina / Kathodik

È passato oltre un anno dall’ultimo disco di Ennio Mazzon, sound artist trevigiano ora a Vancouver, che i più attenti lettori di The New Noise dovrebbero già conoscere per le sue esplorazioni elettroniche squisitamente digitali. Nel nuovo CeriseIcicles continua il discorso maturato dentro Xuan, l’album pubblicato dalla Nephogram di Franz Rosati, e approfondisce quel processo di decostruzione di certe strutture che si traduce in un suono brillante di interferenze e distorsioni, figlio del carattere talvolta minimalista abbracciato da Mazzon fin dalle sue prime uscite. In venti minuti o poco meno vengono concentrati al meglio tutti gli elementi che distinguono il suo stile, dai ricorrenti field recordings a quei magnifici flussi sommersi che crescono di spessore nel tempo fino a raggiungere dimensioni estese, passando per riverberi in loop e glitch di varia natura. Si tratta di un lavoro parcellizzato ma non per questo instabile, molteplice nelle sue venature, non lineare e sapientemente manipolato. Consigliatissimo l’ascolto (e l’acquisto) presso la pagina Bandcamp della Ripples Recordings, etichetta gestita da Ennio stesso. Una garanzia.
– Giacomo Tomasetti / The New Noise

The follow up of last year’s ‘Xuan’ is a shorter and more visceral release that and based upon the impact of layered noises. According to the linear notes this music is strongly tied to a visual component reacting to the audio and, even it aims to ‘deconstruct and transfigure the “pop structures” of the original audio material’, it sounds more experimental in nature than other releases of this artist.
A drone and some sounds that seems from a field recording opens this release with various small noises depicting a sort of menacing and industrial soundscape but, instead of basing upon the musical impact, it focuses on the details and the evacuative properties of the samples. The second part is based on a quieter drone that let the field recording emerges from the background. Some seconds of almost silence take the attention and it takes a couple of minutes of samples for the return of the drone and a deep rhythm creating the menacing atmosphere of the beginning of the track. In the middle of the track a bright soundscape emerges and introduce the listener to a part of the track based on noises and loops that develops in an end based upon glitches that suddenly end the track.
This release, in twenty minutes, shows more ideas and paths of development than most albums that last for three times this duration. It’s demanding to follow this musical development but it’s full of hidden treasures. Highly recommended.
– Andrea Piran / Chain D.L.K.

Esistono almeno due piani che presiedono all’elaborazione di fonti audio concrete: quello concettuale e quello tecnico-realizzativo. Entrambi ricorrono nella nuova “installazione sonora” di Ennio Mazzon, che trae le mosse dalla proteiforme predominanza della natura descritta in una citazione dell’ultimo romanzo di Michel Houellebecq tradotto in italiano (“La Carta e il Territorio”) ed è stato realizzato attraverso una serie di improvvisazioni su piattaforma digitale.
A tali due piani, che pur presentano specifici spunti di interesse, Mazzon ne aggiunge un altro, di gran lunga decisivo nell’osservazione del conclusivo esito sonoro del processo: quello percettivo. Improvvisato, decostruito, talora lasciato nella sua abrasiva consistenza di rumore sintetico, “CeriseIcicles” è un diario di venti minuti di tale processo, nel corso del quale immagini e frequenze vengono modulate attraverso una pluralità di filtri non lineari.
Eppure, al di là di saltuari apici distorsivi, il risultato possiede un proprio contenuto narrativo, quello di tessere frutto di una decostruzione e nuovamente giustapposte a formare qualcosa di inedito e impressionante nel suo impatto e nella sua naturale imponenza.
– Raffaello Russo / Music won’t save you

CeresIcicles is a pop track that’s no longer pop. The sound sources began as pop, but were pulverized by Ennio Mazzon in a process akin to macerating a crate of fruit ~ crate included. Mazzon doesn’t want to be a pop star, but he’s interested in the effect of pop. Is there something intrinsic in pop music that endures no matter the form, as water continues to exist as vapor? Might this explain the annoying earworm, the perseverance of particular tracks on AM radio?
Granted, the sources are his own: field recordings, compositions, swaths of melody and harmony. One imagines choruses embedded in the mix; five minutes before the end, a particularly musical snippet rides the wave to the shore. If the ear is drawn to this melody – stuttered like a broken disc and abraded by static and grit – then a key component of taste has been revealed. Those who prefer this section prefer pop to abstraction, form to seeming disarray. And yet, the piece is nothing if not well-ordered, proceeding from a quiet genesis to a thick revelation. By the end, the listener is led to a fuller understanding of musical taste as it pertains to personal choice.

Or not.

Without the liner notes, most listeners will have one of two reactions. The mainstream listener may enjoy the birds at the beginning, but after that refuse to listen. Sonic mulch is far from catchy, and unfamiliar. The drone fan will receive the EP as a curious excursion, accepting its timbres without looking into its construction. This too reveals something about the common listener, a link between the mainstream music fan and the avatar of the experimental. Most people prefer simply to listen. They like what they hear, or they don’t. And this is why the popularity of pop music – redundancy noted – exasperates so many in the second category. They don’t want their music deconstructed, or their lyrics analyzed. It’s all about that bass, no treble.*
The accompanying video excerpt says in a few minutes what the full piece says in twenty; the track originally began as an hour-long, six-song album and is now a third the length. In essence, it’s a wide mirror of an edited pop song; as Billy Joel laments, “It was a beautiful song, but it ran too long, so they cut it down to 3:05.”
Have you learned something? What have you learned? Do you like this song? Would you like to hear it on the radio? If you could re-edit the track to the length of a single, what would you keep? What would you take out? What will you listen to next, and why will you choose it? If these and other questions now occupy your mind, then the track has accomplished its goals.

* one of the few popular lyrics with a widely-publicized second meaning.
– Richard Allen / A Closer Listen

Ennio Mazzon’s music combines field recordings with extensive computer-based shaping and editing. New release “CeriseIcicles”, his first to appear since he relocated from his native Italy to Canada, falls somewhere between the more obvious presentation of found sounds heard on 2010’s “Celadon” and the more aggressive treatments and manipulations of last year’s “Xuan”. The single twenty-minute piece was created by feeding pop song material through a custom audiovisual platform called ARTS-LOI until their original structures and tonalities were no longer discernible, the processing improvised live over several takes and then edited together. The system also generates live visuals derived from photographs taken in the Shetland Islands. The piece is just about long enough to catch a sense of modulation between an interior world of thoughts and an exterior world of things, though there’s no direct correlation between the type of material being presented and the affective space being implied. Snatches of recorded street conversation and traffic noise point to an exterior, while quieter moments of footsteps and doors shutting suggest a private inner universe; likewise, digital noise and tones (presumably the shattered pop music) seem muted, as if heard from another room or carried on the wind from a distance, just as often as they land with full exterior force. The line between the universal and the personal, the objective and the subjective, is thus being constantly erased and re-drawn somewhere else, much as a good pop song makes private emotions felt universally. “CeriseIcicles” doesn’t quite have the energy or impact of some of Mazzon’s electrifying live shows, though I suspect this is partly a result of choices made at the mastering stage. Though compact in length, the transitions between different sections or states are well-paced, neither indiscernible nor too abrupt. As with previous releases, Mazzon mixes recorded environments with live processing and manipulation in such a way as to force a rethink of how we participate in the world’s experience of itself — complexity and immediacy folded into one another.
– Nathan Thomas / Fluid Radio

Live @ Power Lunches, London
The flood of rapidly-changing digital noise that came pouring out of the speakers presented a semblance of chaos; however, the snatches of structure and pattern made momentarily hearable revealed this chaotic aesthetic impression to be a product of an emerging complexity in which everything that happens does so for a reason. Listening to Mazzon’s music is like those uncanny, vertigo-inducing moments when a window opens up through which the world can be seen as a huge and vastly complex network of interacting objects (and when I say ‘like’, perhaps I mean, ‘it is the same’). His recent album ‘Xuan’ is one of my favourite releases of the year so far, and at Power Lunches he smartly used the constraints of the venue to his advantage to make his music even more overwhelming and yet structurally cohesive than it is on record.
– Nathan Thomas / Fluid Radio

Xuan (Nephogram/Ripples, 2013)

Uscito ad ottobre 2013, come coproduzione Nephogram Editions e Ripple Records, Xuan è, a parere di chi scrive, una delle uscite più belle che l’elettroacustica e l’elettronica italiana in generale, abbia partorito negli ultimi anni. Autore di questo meraviglioso lavoro, Ennio Mazzon, classe ’85, membro del duo Zbeen in coppia con Gianluca Favaron (che ha fresco di pubblicazione un lavoro con manyfeetunder/concrete), creatore, oltre che della musica, anche del software con il quale questo (ed altri) pregevole disco è stato composto. Una singola traccia per, all’incirca, 42 minuti di musica, un continuum sonoro fatto di glitch, droni, melodie sommesse e rumorismi all’insegna di un minimalismo mai fine a se stesso ma molto ben architettato.

La partenza è noise puro, freddo, algido, matematico: disturbi, alte frequenze e glitch accolgono l’ascoltatore per poi placarsi dopo i primi 3 minuti di musica, in un crescendo che da una pulsione glitch lentamente si trasforma e si arricchisce di un tappeto che sembra “umanizzare” i sibili di una macchina in lenta evoluzione. Ed è qui che i suoni ambientali contribuiscono a trasformare e a rendere via via più materico e umano il suono, il mood di tutto il lavoro. Ciascun elemento sembra innestarsi quasi a singhiozzo. Apparentemente. In realtà tutto è perfettamente studiato e pensato per trasportare l’ascoltatore da un panorama sonoro all’altro, pur senza discostarsi troppo, e tradire, la matrice sonora che caratterizza l’intero artefatto in oggetto. Il nono minuto mostra un primo concreto barlume di luce. Una melodia appena accennata sotto la coltre glitch si scorge, regalando un attimo di quiete. Ancora una volta l’intermittenza. La melodia sembra assumere connotati più chiari rivelando e rendendo man mano sempre più intellegibile la chitarra che sembra emergere dai noise e dai suoni digitali i quali, solo apparentemente, tendono a sovrastarla. È straordinario come i suoni ambientali, i glitch, i droni e la chitarra si amalgano in maniera magistrale invertendo progressivamente ruoli e atmosfere in una sorta di contorcimento continuo. Una creatura vivente. È l’elettronica stessa a trasformarsi ed assumere via via un connotato sempre più umano, caldo, tradendo la natura e quella dei suoni stessi. Siamo ad un terzo esatto della composizione e un nuovo momento ci avvolge. I suoni lentamente ci preparano all’apertura centrale, a mio modesto parere, il momento migliore del disco. Il drone che accompagna e talvolta sovrasta i glitch, che faranno da traino per tutta la durata dell’album, disegna un paesaggio pacifico, metafisico, sognante, umano. Come se lo spirito si elevasse sopra le macchine in uno sforzo continuo e dirompente nel suo strappo liberatorio (min. 25) fino a sovrastarle. Il suono si fa immagine. Una luce abbagliante che copre, sovrasta il tutto per poi spegnersi e abbandonarsi nei file recordings che fanno da tramite al terzo atto di questa opera straordinaria. Quello in evoluzione sembra una sorta di scontro. Il left e il right si dividono rispettivamente il suono digitale del noise drone e quello dei suoni ambientali che sembrano avvolgersi e riavvolgersi su loro stessi come due corpi in moto alla ricerca di una sincronia, di un’armonia nei movimenti. Come fosse lo scopo di un’esistenza. Una pace restituita solo ad avvenuto ricongiungimento. Pace che lentamente, dolcemente viene raggiunta nella semi-stasi dei minuti 35-36. I suoni diventano sommessi e sussurrati. Ci sembra addirittura di scorgere qualcosa che ricorda un respiro, in mezzo ai suoni digitali in chiusura che tornano ad essere più freddi e digitali come in principio. Ma stavolta tutto sembra diverso. Sembra albergare una pace raggiunta ben lontana dal gelo dei primissimi minuti. Una pace quasi aliena. Un ultimo sussulto, un crescendo verso qualcosa. Il silenzio assordante degli ultimi 90 secondi di questo meraviglioso viaggio nell’animo umano.

Geniale. Meraviglioso.
– Anacleto Vitolo / Frastuoni

The idea of recording a single 42-minute track and releasing it as an album is daunting; some would call it foolish.  Ennio Mazzon silences all potential skeptics with Xuan, an electronic exploration of scrapes and whispers, silence and noise.  Certain melodies are accidental here, others intentional.  Even the sub-tones have sub-tones.  The album is a Where’s Waldo of sound; with so many hidden textures, repeated plays are a necessity.
 Richard Allen (ACL 2013: Top Ten Drone)

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Debordante intensità emozionale.
Blow Up

Dopo il recente bel lavoro del duo Zbeen formato da Ennio Mazzon e Gianluca Favaron abbiamo tra le mani un nuovo cd, splendidamente introdotto da un packaging minimalista a base di toni di grigio, geometrie e natura trasfigurata digitalmente, accreditato al solo Mazzon. Un’unica lunga traccia di quaranta e più minuti che non si discosta di molto dagli scenari sonori proposti dal duo, quindi ancora elettronica minimale, glitch, bleeps, fiumi di frequenze, voragini di bit frantumati e field recordings, processati con algoritmi visionari. Oltre agli stessi Zbeen vengono in mente anche artisti quali Roel Melkoop ma anche frammenti del romanticismo binario di Oval che di tanto in tanto sbocciano come frattali floereali in slow motion. Non mi sfugge neanche una certa somiglianza con alcune cose di Olivia Block per un certo modo di accatastare e accumulare suoni come se fossero relitti vomitati da un mare burrascoso. Ho usato l’aggettivo minimale, ma in realtà l’opera è affatto avara di suoni e suggestioni, anzi, raccoglie in sé un frammento di mondo interiore che avanza, inciampa e si espande sino a saturare la percezione. In particolare l’ascolto in cuffia rivela un’enormità di dettagli, a testimoniare il meticoloso lavoro compiuto da Mazzon nello stratificare, accostare e intercalare una miriade di suggestioni diverse. Una vera e propria processione di visioni acustiche ammalianti e sfuggenti, di nuclei sonori, indipendenti eppure parte del tutto, che non si riesce mai a delineare sino in fondo, veri e propri flash sensoriali. La traccia inizia in uno stato di nervosa attesa, tra screzi digitali, oscillazioni terminali, spettri in bassa frequenza, fischi, frane algebriche per poi approdare verso il nono minuto a un’oasi di calma estatica, di sospensione elegiaca tra le scorie di circuiti scricchiolanti. Da qui in poi è un lento crescere verso la frenesia, verso l’implosione, verso una catarsi inseguita, sfiorata ma persa, sino a quando non s’inizia a precipitare progressivamente, con i suoni che tendono ad assottigliarsi, ad allungarsi, a perdere peso, a confondersi gli uni negli altri, verso il system fault finale che annulla e silenzia l’entropia accumulata. E’ chiaro che nel campo dell’elettronica sperimentale si è oramai sentito di tutto e di più, ma si tratta comunque di un ottimo lavoro, affascinante e soprattutto emozionante. E non sempre è facile emozionare in questo campo.
– Alfio Castorina / Kathodik.it

XUAN review

SOLAR IPSE

Senza mai annoiare, ricorrendo a un tema sonoro comune, Ennio Mazzon si muove attraverso sperimentazione, noise e abrasioni elettroniche, assemblate in scia a una serie di improvvisazioni con strumenti digitali. Un lavoro, di 42 minuti, lontano da ogni predefinito schema compositivo, ma ben strutturato in ogni suo passaggio, che conferma l’ottima vena del musicista veneto.
– TOP 10 ALBUM 2013 di Marco “Orso” Ferretti / IndieForBunnies

Ennio Mazzon is an italian sound artist mostly known, at least to me, for his remarkable work as Zbeen with Gianluca Favaron. This solo issue is a track developed from improvisations with digital instruments appositely developed during the time span from 2009 to 2012. So this track is the result of a long and careful work.
Xuan is a relatively long track that start in a glitchy way organizing a set of small noises above a quiet beat then silence and quiet sounds takes the scene until a sort of drone set an interlude slowly closed by the return of the quiet sounds. Then glitchy noises are spread through the aural spectrum until a slowly developing bright drone became the glue and the landscape for the development of the noises enchanting the listener. The ending of the noises introduces to the final part of the track based on sparse sounds until silence mark the end of this musical journey.
Apart from the description this track could be easily described by the wonderful image made by Elisa Piaggesi depicting the branches of a tree in the afternoon with a grey rhombus layered in the middle stating the juxtaposition of nature and reason.
This track is undoubtedly enriched from the mastering work made by James Plotkin resulting in a bright audio spectrum that enhance the research of musical timbre nuances. So, even if the musical influences are clearly hearable, the quality of the result and the personality of the musical development makes this issue a record not to miss.
– Andrea Piran / Chain D.L.K.

After numerous underground releases we have another album of concrete electronics released by Ennio Mazzon. Up until now I haven’t encountered much of his works, so it’s good to get hold of a full release to consume as a whole.
Set as one long track this can be quite a daunting venture to sit down with, as is all works of this nature; I do like track markers so I can listen in stages, rather than being forced into one 40 minute plus jaunt.
As it stands however, this is an altogether pleasing affair. Subtle analogue scratches, electronic bleeps and interference play lightly over airy ambient and drone-work from the off and formulate the main staple of this latest CD. ‘Xuan’ is a lengthy journey, almost as if you are invited to take a long walk through a torn up wasteland of dust and rubble, searching for lord knows what.
I am a massive fan of ambient when it leans on darker elements and drone when it is utilised effectively. Mazzon flirts with these genres well, applying glitch infused IDM traits whilst layered pitches of sound rise gradually with ease and grace; altogether producing a professional and engaging album that entrances and in some respects, hypnotises the listener.
‘Xuan’ will appeal to fans of all I have stated above. Matching his peers, if not bettering them on occasion, this is truly one of those albums that encourage the listener eager to seek out past works; such is its underlying beauty.
– Tony Young / blackaudio

Ennio Mazzon’s ‘Xuan’ is instability at play. The album is extraordinarily hyper-active. Various moments completely disorient. Sounds shock. Behind each corner of the piece a new texture appears only to disappear just as suddenly. Loud is one way to describe it as the sustained pitches can begin to grate at the sense. Beneath the elasticity of the piece is a greater structure. ‘Xuan’ plays with the listener’s senses, throwing it into complete disarray. Abrasive at one moment, near silent the next, Xuan contains moments of pure beauty. Nature works quite the same way.  Xuan begins with extreme noise. As the piece progresses within the first five one so minutes there are a few illusions to a human touch through some rather elegant guitar sounds. By the nine minute mark guitars filter through once more trying to let the humanity into the harsh electronic work. With these two elements there’s a sense of drama. Whatever Ennio throws at the guitar is ineffective: still the hauntingly beautiful guitar melody makes its way through for a while. For roughly ten minutes an organ manages to blast its way through this noise reveling a good sense of form. Organic elements (birds) make their way through the digital shards getting cut up into mere fragments. Towards the very end it quiets down to reveal a soothing Oval-like groove. This album is recommended with the volume on high, very high. Moments will grab the listener’s attention just as others completely overwhelm. It is best to experience the joyous chaos of Xuan at full blast. A state of flux has never sounded so good.
Beach Sloth

Ennio Mazzon‘s magnificent Xuan requires multiple spins in order to reveal its secrets. Even then, the album remains dense and oblique, like a mysterious woman in black, her face obscured by a wide-brimmed hat, leaning against a wall with a cool filtered cigarette in her white-gloved hand. Every ounce of the observer screams “danger!”, but her allure is too powerful to resist.
As half of Zbeen and the owner of the Ripples label, Mazzon has released many electronic explorations over the past few years, ranging from the slightly sedate to the extremely agitated. As a 42-minute track, Xuan is a risk that pays off. In direct opposition to Stasis (recorded for Entr’acte), Xuan is active from the start and demonstrates incredible internal motion. The artist’s familiar pulses and beeps are joined by warning tones as early as 1:10, and as the piece progresses, Mazzon produces an impressive variety of tones and alarms. At times, one can almost imagine a bass track emerging, but then such guidelines evaporate in an ether of drone and industrial clang. Xuan sounds like computers and factories flirting before going to war. For the cinematically minded, imagine R2-D2 dropping in on the climax of Terminator 2.
Mazzon has always been experimental-minded, and math and physics are frequently mentioned in his compositional bios. His choices seem calculated, tabulated, examined for efficacy. The laboratory is once again implied; in certain segments, beginning with 3:57-5:39, Mazzon incorporates sounds that are similar to those of washing or burning. Nothing remains static in Xuan; it’s as if he is determined to push the boundaries of how many things can happen at once, like a juggler insisting on one more ball. At 6:11, avian cooing is followed by footsteps, distant bells, and nearby chimes; Mazzon is not content to produce a work that is strictly electronic. Such tiny additions help Xuan to operate as the aural equivalent of a “find the hidden object” puzzle. Even if one were to be given a list of featured elements, one would be hard-pressed to spot them all. Instead, the imagination starts to run wild: that sounds like a truck, but is that a volcano? Best of all, the track keeps developing. No one-trick pony, Xuan is an investigation of sound and sonic properties that invites listeners to contemplate the hearing sense. Drip, meow, kettle, block, glass, a cornucopia of sources settling gradually into a mattress of drone. In the 27th minute, one drone recedes while another rises, a soldier taking up the flag of a fallen comrade. By the end, the listener has experienced multiple red zone infractions. As the piece fades into its final silence, one becomes aware of a new element: restraint. After multiple plays, one realizes that the restraint has been there all along, a sign that the scientist knows what he is doing.
– Richard Allen / A Closer Listen

Lo stato straordinario di forma di scene come quella elettronica e noise è dovuto soprattutto a musicisti come Ennio Mazzon. Il musicista e sound artist di Treviso aggiunge un altro importante tassello alla sua breve ma prolifica carriera. Il nuovo lavoro si intitola Xuan ed è uscito in coproduzione fra Nephogram e Ripples (quest’ultima fondata dallo stesso Mazzon). A proposito del disco dice “L’album consiste in una singola traccia (42.00 min) che è stata composta, modificata e finalizzata tra il 2009 e il 2012. Si tratta di elettronica sperimentale/noise che nasce da una serie di improvvisazioni con gli strumenti digitali (applicazioni per l’elaborazione audio in real time sviluppate con MAXMSP) che ho realizzato specificatamente per questo progetto“. Il Mastering è affidato a James Plotkin (Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never, Sunn O))), Emeralds). Quarantadue minuti di estasi rumoristica che portano a galla la naturalezza sperimentale nella cura e costruzione del suono. Questo risulta un impasto indefinito che il musicista veneto si diverte a manipolare con assordanti minimalismi che si manifestano anche attraverso strutture ambient completamente destrutturate e lontane dagli schemi predefiniti; si contrappongono ai momenti in cui la trama noise è esplicita atraverso retaggi dal richiamo industriale e fulminanti e sintetici “perforamenti” del non-silenzio. La visione si completa anche di uno strato che potremmo definire impropriamente “melodico” che si sovrappone (più o meno a metà della composizione) ma in maniera ovattata senza sopprimere il lato abrasivo dell’arrangiamento. Un suono astratto ma concreto che enfatizza la forza del minimalismo che Ennio Mazzon ha saputo veicolare in maniera ineccepibile. Un lavoro coraggioso e che conferma le doti di manipolatore e costruttore del sound artist di Treviso.
Nicola Orlandino / sonofmarketing.it

“Je ne supporte ni ordre, ni sens, ni paix. Je ramasse les séquelles du temps. Je mets en lambeaux les règles du passé et du présent que je n’ai jamais comprises.”(Quignard)

Si l’on jette un regard attentif du côté de l’Italie, il n’est pas difficile de constater qu’elle continue de fourmiller d’artistes et de labels passionnants à l’heure actuelle. La scène expérimentale italienne se révèle en effet hautement talentueuse, et des noms tels que ceux de Nicola Ratti, Giuseppe Ielasi, Pietro Riparbelli, Alessio Ballerini ou encore Fabio Perletta ne viendront pas le contredire.
Ennio Mazzon a quant à lui été particulièrement prolifique ces dernières années, avec des albums parus sur différents labels dont le sien, Ripples Recordings. Xuan constitue ainsi une sortie conjointe de son propre label et de Nephogram, tenu par Franz Rosati qui confirme ici les qualités de ses sorties (déjà évoquées avec Gridshape ou Porya Hatami).
Chants d’oiseaux et épanchements électroniques. Miaulement, roucoulement, et combustions électriques. Ennio Mazzon jette la danse désarticulée de ses fields recordings dans un réseau de machines implacables, dévorantes, grouillantes. Il fait de l’organique et de l’électronique une seule et même matière en équilibre instable et menaçant. Il liquéfie, solidifie, et soumet sans distinction à l’artificiel et au naturel ses propres règles et vecteurs d’un espace sonore à la fois renouvelé et insoumis.
Xuan se déverse, inonde et renverse le calme établi. Il y a ce bruit du sang qui court, celui des pierres à genoux, de l’eau qui s’égoutte, du bois qui craque. Et puis des chocs, sous la blancheur d’un feu. La terre qui s’incline, quelque part entre le jour et la nuit. Dans les hélices de l’inquiétude, le monde bruisse, grésille et crépite au gré de soubresauts électroniques.
Collectées par les field recordings, les chutes du temps ramènent à ces traces qui tiennent dans l’écho d’un objet retombant sur une table, d’un bruit de vaisselle lointain, ou d’une chose que l’on froisse. Au bout d’une quinzaine de minutes de cette piste unique, l’émergence de nappes d’ambient vient enrichir plus encore la complexité orchestrée, et crée alors l’une des plus beaux passages de l’album.
Ennio Mazzon interroge ainsi brillamment les liens entre la matière sonore naturelle qui nous entoure, et celle générée par les machines. Il mobilise les contraires, et remet en question les possibilités de distinction. Il laisse aussi entendre ce bruit de fond constant généré par la fascination et l’inquiétude face au monde.
– Aurélie S. / SWQW

Tra gli sperimentatori italiani più visionari e apprezzati (soprattutto all’estero…), Ennio Mazzon è stato capace di ritagliare un autonomo spazio alla sua declinazione di musica “concreta” risultante dall’interazione di field recordings e suoni/rumori sintetici.
Anche lungo i quarantadue minuti dell’unica traccia del suo ultimo lavoro, si può apprezzare l’interazione e sovrapposizione di fonti sonore di diversa natura, che si confondono in un descrittivismo concettuale ostico in quanto non edulcorato sotto forma di filtraggio ambientale.
Nell’universo di “Xuan”, sibili e bordate di rumore sintetico sono miscelati con rombi e schegge post-industriali in modo tale da smarrire i tratti propri delle rispettive matrici in un universo in apparenza grezzo e a tratti urticante, ma proprio per questo tale da fotografare spazi sonori, riempiendoli della loro essenza più reale e complessa.
– Raffaello Russo / Music won’t save you

Se ne parla poco, ma Ennio Mazzon possiede una discografia solista di tutto rispetto e ha saputo farsi notare anche attraverso l’attività della sua etichetta (Ripples Recordings), oltre che per il progetto Zbeen nato dalla collaborazione con Gianluca Favaron.
Si può considerare idealmente quest’album come il seguito di Azure Allochiria (2010), da cui eredita la predisposizione per un certo minimalismo elettronico soggetto a infiltrazioni e distorsioni sonore di vario tipo. Xuan si compone all’incirca di tutti quei dettagli che siamo soliti rintracciare nei dischi di sound artist del genere, ma attenzione perché questo non significa che stiamo trattando di un lavoro anonimo o banale. Anzi, la sua personale miscela di rumori programmati e melodie spurie risulta invece molto azzeccata e – nonostante la fatica che può lasciare una sola traccia di quaranta minuti – ci si rende conto molto in fretta di trovarsi davanti a qualcosa di veramente valido, in cui convivono alla perfezione impulsi sconnessi, schizzi digitali e tutto un insieme di effetti sintetici sviluppati con grande cura. Vengono quindi in mente nomi come Andrea Marutti, Enrico Coniglio e quello degli Zbeen stessi, dato che Ennio rimane in qualche modo vicino a quanto composto con Favaron. Andando più nel dettaglio il disco pare strutturarsi in fasi distinte, caratterizzate individualmente da precisi elementi ricorrenti; ognuna di queste viene poi attraversata da un tema comune, come un filo conduttore dalla forma incostante che lega i vari segmenti in maniera fluida e organica. Sembra essere presente anche qualche field recording, ma non è facile distinguere tra loro i vari elementi. Mentre l’apertura è affidata all’articolazione progressiva di brevi interferenze, che vanno a delineare una situazione dall’aspetto ruvido, acuto e affilato, con lo scorrere dei minuti fa invece la sua comparsa un sottile senso melodico riposto in secondo piano, vaga reminescenza di quelle atmosfere presenti in vecchie composizioni come “The Possibility Of Joy” e “In An Undertone At A Loose End”. Avvicinandosi a metà ascolto, il suono conosce quindi un certo irrobustimento, ed ecco allora che un flusso risonante va a sovrastare con decisione tutti quei rumori accumulati fino a quel punto per poi inglobarli nell’ampia vibrazione che si impossessa del brano e lo conduce per tutto il resto della sua durata, sfumando in una coda dai toni più accesi e infine nel silenzio.
Possiamo dire senza problemi di trovarci in presenza del lavoro più completo e ricercato che Mazzon abbia saputo proporci finora, sicuramente un ascolto molto interessante capace di distinguersi per la sua studiata eleganza. Complimenti.
– Gicomo Tomasetti / The New Noise

As our understanding of the natural world grows in complexity, so too do the tools and techniques we devise to further our collective knowledge. Practitioners of increasingly specialised disciplines of knowing, we harvest data from innumerable networked sources and feed them through farms of optimised compute cycles. Nature becomes more and more systematic, and our systems become more and more alive. A leaf becomes a dataset, a molecular mosaic, a genetic blueprint. Scientific methods of information abstraction form templates for the organisation of society, the production of culture, and the management of the environment. We slide unawares between biological and technological metaphors; seldom do we concern ourselves with the question of precisely who is mimicking who. We trace the developments of ant colonies and financial markets with equal curiosity and precision. Somewhere in the world, across a matter of minutes and seconds, a video of a small furry creature is going viral. Seldom do we concern ourselves with the question of who is mimicking who. Yet at times Ennio Mazzon’s new album “Xuan” seems calculated to raise precisely this concern, the single long track blending environmental sounds with the chirp and holler of machines in such a way as to blur the distinction between the natural and the artificial. Both field recordings and machine-generated noises are made to exhibit the same characteristics of complexity and contingency, compelling a kind of listening that perceives both as instances of the same phenomenon, as part of the same environment. In such a scenario, one would expect the introduction of tonal harmonies to constitute a retreat to safer, less interesting musical territory, yet in “Xuan” this does not appear to be the case: the ambient chords that appear mid-way through the track instead seem to offer a kind of self-reflexive commentary on the ongoing categorical confusion, suggesting anxiety and unease while stopping short of presenting the convergence of nature and artifice in unambiguously negative terms. Art’s ability to help us think differently about the world in which we live and grapple with its challenges in imaginative ways is often cited as an attribute that distinguishes it from the simple pleasure and emotional affect of entertainment. To be sure, “Xuan” can be both pleasing and emotionally affective, yet to me it would seem to offer more than this: I hear in the work a sophisticated engagement with the question of how our understanding of the relations between nature and machines is changing, undertaken via entirely aesthetic means (by which I mean it is all there in what is heard). The growing interest in field recordings in the context of computer-based music production points clearly in such a direction, yet I am aware of very few artists who have begun to explicitly consider this issue, yet alone in such a compelling manner, though of course there are many other perfectly valid uses of nature recordings being fruitfully explored. Even if the most the record could hope to achieve in this regard is to make audible the growing similarity between two representations that used to be so unalike, to make such an idea make a little more sense is by no means a small achievement. I may well be overstating the work’s conceptual basis here, though Mazzon’s previous work, including collaborations as one half of Zbeen and his curatorship of Ripples Recordings, has already established him as an artist thinking seriously about the conceptual possibilities of sound. At any rate, “Xuan” is essential listening, not only for dedicated fans of experimental music and sound art, but for anyone interested in what art has to contribute to the ongoing venture of learning how to live in a complex and constantly changing world.
– Nathan Thomas for Fluid Radio

Azure Allochiria (Triple Bath, 2010)
I was pretty certain that the world already had more than enough bleeping and blooping laptop improvisors, but Mazzon has managed to surprise me by bringing something quite new to the form. The innovation in this case is that Ennio artfully employs the entire available frequency spectrum in these five pieces, which has a very unusual and noticeable effect: the air in the room feels weirdly charged whenever this album is on.  Also, some of the sounds feel like they are actually occupying physical space in the air (seriously – I’m not crazy).  The experience is probably closely akin to watching a film with an exceedingly expensive surround sound system.  I like it – it gives these pieces a lot of presence and immediacy.  Also, I suspect that some of the frequencies are probably making my neighbors’ cats freak out and careen around their apartment, which is an added amusement.
Notably, this is not the sort of thing that Mazzon normally does, as he is primarily known for his work with decontextualized field recordings.  However, I still hear quite a few traces of environmental recordings in these five pieces, though they are largely digitized into oblivion.  Perhaps this is only a departure because it is improvised and more aggressively manipulated than usual – I definitely hear things that sound like birds, water, wind chimes, and ambient forest sounds that have been warped with a ring modulator and layered a bit.  Mazzon has a definite knack for assembling these collages though, as he makes very skilled use of both space and texture.  I am impressed.  Azure Allochiria is both a compelling experiment and a complicated and dynamic work.
– Foxy Digitalis

Best known, perhaps, from his work released on his own Ripples Recordings, Ennio Mazzon also released music on Time Theory, Impulsive Habitat, Q-tone, Audiotalaia and Resting Bell. Up until now his music was based field recordings, but ‘Azure Allochiria’ (the Greek words ‘allo’ and ‘chira’ meaning ‘other’ and ‘hand’) is his first work that deals entirely with electronic sound. Its not easy to say where these sounds come from; at times I thought they were alarm clocks, warning sounds or randomly spliced together sine waves. Mazzon puts these together in a somewhat chaotic pattern, of which one is not always sure its a pattern, or a random clattering of sounds. But this chaos somehow makes sense. Its the density of it all, that makes it quite nice. A vibrant mass of crawling insects, moving and working. Obscured processings take place – in the sounds rather than the insects of course. Maybe some of the material is a bit long, but perhaps its also this longitude that makes this is into quite a nice work. The best work so far I heard from him.
– Vital Weekly

Ennio Mazzon is a talented guy. Not only does he run the great Ripples Recordings label but also releases a large variety of experimental music ranging from drones and fieldrecordings to freeform experiments with prepared guitars or laptop improvisation. His latest work “Azure Allochiria” is a testament of his laptop work, which focuses on highly abstract textures and complex sonic explorations.
“Azure Allochiria” offers a wide range of sounds. Starting with jittery sine wave rhythms to clicky fragments moving through the stereo field, while brooding drones simmer in the background. This is plain computer music. And it’s absolutely fantastic at being just that. Although being quite busy at times, the tracks carry a soothing calmness. It’s like standing in the middle of a large computer facility, the whirring noises, the little beeps blend with the ambience so easily and quickly, one almost forgets that the music is still on. A beautiful and mesmerizing album the perfectly complements Mazzon’s other works.
– resonant strata

In addition to running Ripples Recordings, Ennio Mazzon is an Italy based sound sculptor who usually works with eletro-acoustics & field recordings. His new record on Triple Bath, however, is his first that’s strictly electronic, and the first of his that I’ve heard. So no comparisons, just me raving about how he doesn’t need any analog acoustic sounds because Azure Allochiria is totally fucking awesome.
This is some minimal stuff but it has a hundred and one layers. Pretty quiet, delicately textured like digital lace. If you play this at a normal volume, (1) you’ll miss out on 80% of it because it flies under the radar and (2) you’ll forget you ever put on a record and you’ll just think there’s an EBS test running somewhere you can’t find. So play this fucker loud and you’ll be in for a treat, with all of the vertigo high pitches, stuttering anti-patterns, and garbled dog whistles.
There’s a magic beauty to Allochiria that transports you to a midnight garden. Lots of insect sounds, chirping, static hammering, clicking, everything twinkling & glitching with a Tron-like blue glow surrounding it. It makes me think of a much more controlled version of the sound speakers/amps make when plugging them in. An elaborate ambient alien Morse code that seeps through The Matrix. Seemingly cold & unwelcoming to the uninitiated, but in reality it’s a warm embrace of next-level electro-harmony.
Not knowing what sort of field recordings Mazzon has done in the past, it’s still pretty obvious that that’s where he’s coming from. So much of this record sounds like it could be from the analog world, melting icicles & trickling water, buzzing cicadas, throaty bird songs, yet all blatantly electronic. But regardless, THIS IS IT. Azure Allochiria is an hour long gorgeous minimal texture fest and it’s all I need. Way to fucking go.
– anti-gravity bunny

Ennio is a field recordist and sound artist with previous releases on the Impulsive Habitat, Q-tone, Audiotalaia, Resting Bell, Time Theory and October Man Recordings labels. He also runs his own label, Ripples Recordings, which concentrates on electroacoustic releases.
Earlier works typically explore the fusion of field recorded sounds from the natural environment with processed electronic sound to create a suffused alternative sonic landscape inhabited by waterborne transformations and concrete sounds which “transform the natural silence”.
Unlike his earlier work Azure Allochiria is a wholly electronic experiment borne from laptop improvisations and recording spanning just over a year. Given the length of time to stitch this work together you might expect a formless mass of unrelated material in the final work, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the five pieces making up the album do in fact work cohesively, particularly after a couple of listenings.
Ennio’s purpose throughout the album was to explore the full range of tones and textures available in the electronic dimension. At times this album feels like you are partaking in an extended audiological ear test with frequencies from micro to macrosound level being gently pushed into your brain which swims in a sine wave sea. A trembling rivulet transforms into chirping pulses, mechanical valves hissing, a trilling analogue switchboard, droid chatter in a sci-fi scrapyard or muffled movements in the room next door – you can make up multiple scenes in the mind from this material and that is the joy of the whole work really.
Perfectly suited to a live sound art environment, art  installation  or being played at high volume in your own space this is an intriguing and multi-layered work that explores some stimulating sonic territory.
– Saravan music and sound

Zbeen, Eigen (Ripples, 2013)
Eigen è il terzo disco in un anno e mezzo per il duo veneto Gianluca Favaron – Ennio Mazzon. Siamo ancora una volta di fronte all’unione di digitale, field recordings, noise e spunti improvvisativi. Il contesto sonoro nel quale ci troviamo è quello dell’etichetta Entr’Acte, che aveva pubblicato poco tempo fa Stasis, il secondo disco di Zbeen. Da un lato complicate riflessioni matematiche e geometriche, di cui poco comprendo, dall’altro l’irregolarità: si tratta, come già scritto mille volte, di musiche difficili (ma ci occupiamo forse solo di musiche facili?), per le quali servono una certa testa e una certa predisposizione ad avventurarsi in un mondo astratto e irreale. Qualcuno finisce (c’è cascato pure il grande Verticchio su Oltre il Suono) per apprezzare la maggiore intelligibilità di alcune tracce rispetto ad altre, ma del resto io stesso trovo che l’esordio K-Frame vinca dove è meno autistico e più impattante, ossia quando per certi versi cerca una sintesi col filone drone/ambient/noise che a me è più familiare. Proprio come nel caso dell’improvvisazione con strumenti “veri”, i momenti migliori mi sembrano nascere quando di botto si forma un ordine effimero.
– The New Noise

Zbeen‘s music has always been about pattern, whether created or perceived: the mapping of vectors, linear and algebraic.  Although the output of Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon may be based on mathematics, it sounds more like science, a theme explored in last year’s review of K-frame.  Specifically, the duo’s work brings to mind the popping and beeping of miniature circuits and the gurgling of test tubes.  A more nature-minded listener might envision expanding ice or the germination of seeds.  Each of these impressions, none entirely accurate on their own, shares one common denominator: the impression of movement.  Zbeen’s music seems self-generative, the product of a petri dish experiment gone awry or an artificial consciousness.  It’s hard to imagine the duo as responsible for every last note; one pictures instead an interplay of instinct.
Consider for example the flutter at the end of “Soundness.”  This sound, like that of a small sparrow bathing, may have been generated by a random sequence of algorithms, or it may have been planned.  Either way, its repetition is intentional, the evidence of a hand behind the controls.  A louder flutter in the following track (more like that of an unspooling film reel or a Large and Frightening Mutant Bird) demonstrates the duo’s propensity for volume control.  Some aspects are purposely soft, but the loud aspects are the ones that draw the attention.  It’s no surprise that “(ε, δ)” is the most effective piece, by title dealing with error and distance and the definition of limit; the piece pushes against multiple boundaries at once, including that of rhythm (in the playful opening segment) as well as the expected pattern and flow.  At what point does one stop perceiving melodic intent?  How much can abrasion be used until it no longer sounds abrasive?  Is the sudden structure of the fifth minute really structure, or the mind’s projection of structure in proximity to seeming randomness?  Is that a bass?
Eigen becomes quieter as it proceeds, but retains its level of activity.  ”[1k; 0 1] yields a series of carbonate grinds in its opening minutes, but eventually topples into a dark drone with a pulse like that of an amplified clock – one that occasionally adds a tick.  ”U+222B” is percussive, but not beat-oriented; in fact, it seems to be built upon a template of beats that have been erased and replaced by a more interesting variety of noises.  A faint musical loop sputters in at 2:12 and out at 2:42, as if visiting from a neighboring satellite.  One begins to wonder, “why do drummers always hit the same variety of drums?”  But then one remembers the cold, hard truth:  for some, the definition of limit is closer to earth than it is for others.
– A Closer Listen

The opening track of Italian duo Zbeen’s album “Eigen” hits with all the chaos and confusion of the inner city, a barrage from all directions of synthesised traffic and sirens and construction noise, a distracting and disorienting clamour. Turn a corner, and the noise subsides, only to return gradually as your path brings you back to the main street. A layering of multiple independent patterns leads to the impression of no pattern at all; not really chaos, then, but more a dense complexity. There is no conspiracy, no concerted attack against the senses; the sounds respond to hearing with indifference rather than malice. The interest would seem to be in what the sounds do, rather than in their manipulation into coherent forms for the entertainment of the listener.
The rest of the album is calmer and more subdued, though occasionally something harsh and brittle threatens to erupt. There are quiet passages reminiscent of a deserted laboratory, the idle chatter of machines as they crunch data or analyse proteins. One imagines an artificial ecosystem of devices, each going about their separate tasks. What if a human performer saw him- or herself as a participant in such an ecosystem, rather than its caretaker? What if he or she stopped viewing the devices as tools to be utilised, as transparent means to an end, and instead started listening in on their conversations, occasionally adding a word or two? Lab technician, or turologist? (‘Turology’ — the study of machine behaviour as apparently autonomous and intentional). Zbeen think hard about when to let the program run, and when, and how, to intervene.
“Eigen” is Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon’s third collaborative album, following releases on Entr’acte and Ripples Recordings. In combining programming and improvisation, not as polar opposites, but as complimentary approaches with sometimes indistinguishable results, they propose an attitude to computer-based music that looks beyond button-pushing to something more dialogical. There are links here, perhaps, with the work of other Italian musicians and “sonic researchers”, for example with Andrea Valle and Dario Sanfilippo’s investigation of feedback systems (see Gianmarco Delre’s interview with Sanfilippo for these very pages). When the music heard in bars and supermarkets seems so lifeless (would Justin Bieber pass the Turing test?), perhaps listening more closely to the sonic behaviour of machines can lead to something a bit more intelligent, even emotively affective. “Eigen” certainly seems to suggest so.
– Fluid Radio

In Dutch, ‘Eigen’ means ‘Own’. I am not sure if Ennio Mazzon and Gianluca Favaron, also known as Zbeen are aware of this. It’s not too difficult to make a relationship between that title and the music itself: to what extend is this their ‘own’, ie how original is this? Providing of course they are aware of this Dutch meaning. Perhaps it’s all about something entirely different? We have five tracks here and to call this ‘original’ is hardly true. It’s not. But at the same time it’s also a kind of music we don’t hear a lot anymore. At their hands, Favaron and Mazzon use ‘programming, electronics and signal processing’. This is laptop music. And it’s laptop music of the kind we don’t hear a lot anymore. That of real time processing, of transforming field recordings and pre recorded sounds, via all sorts of real time sampling and real time plug ins in nervous hectic music. I quite enjoyed Zbeen’s first release (see Vital Weekly 818) and was less taken by their second, and this new one is along the lines of the second one rather than the more dense first release, even when this is even less drone based as ‘Stasis’, their previous release. There is a great sense of chaos around this music and more than before I am reminded of the whole early years of laptop music, when this was all new and exciting, the times of bands like TV Pow, @C and Tu’M. Music that is made, so I assume, by jamming together, on end, and then editing together the best bits. As much improvised as it is composed. The nice thing indeed that’s something that is gone now, as styles develop I guess and perhaps time is there for a small revival of this kind of cracks’ n cuts music, laptop impro a go-go. Not blown away by this, but actually not too bad either. Enjoying while it lasted I guess.
– Vital Weekly

A brevissima distanza temporale dal precedente “Stasis” Gianluca Favaron ed Ennio Mazzon presentano il loro nuovo nuovo CD “Eigen”, pubblicato anch’esso grazie a Ripples Recordings. Sostanzialmente invariata la “formula”, una sorta di freddissima, scricchiolante noise-elettronica minimale-astratta che in questo caso si spinge ancora di più nella direzione del rumorismo pseudo-caotico e dell’astrattismo quasi puro, riducendo ad una forma davvero “minima” quella che potremmo definire la “struttura compositiva” dei vari pezzi. Con questo non voglio dire che alla base della realizzazione delle tracce non ci sia una precisa “regia”, ma piuttosto che essa appare sempre più, “impalpabile”, evanescente, dai contorni quasi indistinguibili… In questa variegata e talvolta apparentemente informe “massa” di sibili, disturbi, fruscìi, scricchiolìi, ronzìi, suoni sintetici, pulsazioni elettroniche, è soltanto verso la metà del quarto brano che, improvvisamente e inaspettatamente, si fa spazio un’ incredibile cadenza ritmica metallica posta su un profondo e incisivo drone che, pur “aggredita” nel suo incedere da “disturbi” e rumorismi di varia natura, si evolve drammatica e imponente, dipingendo finalmente un possente “quadro” quasi-musicale, non solo regalando, per tutto il resto del brano, il meglio di quanto sia possibile ascoltare nell’intero CD, ma marcando più in generale un nuovo potenziale punto di partenza per quella che potrebbe essere la nuova, ottima ed “energica” musica del progetto Zbeen se solo i due “artefici” scegliessero in futuro di prediligere forme e sonorità che, pur partendo dalle medesime “radici”, mirino a perseguire un più strutturato, coinvolgente, “personale”, riconoscibile ed emotivamente toccante “obiettivo sonoro”.
– Oltre il Suono

Zbeen, Stasis (Ripples / Entr’acte, 2012)
Dispiace un po’ dover ricorrere alle forbici per accedere all’ascolto di questo cd, fermamente sigillato dentro un algido packaging simil industriale che rimanda all’estetica della label raster noton. Ma tant’è, un taglio netto, preciso, e via. Chirurgia dell’accesso che del resto ben si sposa con l’estetica proposta dal duo Gianluca Favaron ed Ennio Mazzon, alle prese con field recordings e manipolazione digitale, coadiuvati in fase di mastering dall’attento Giuseppe Ielasi. Le note della label, riassumendo a base di campi vettoriali e particelle sonore piazzate al loro interno, può apparire viziata da un eccesso di concettualizzazione e astrazione matematica, quasi a volere tracciare una decisa linea di separazione tra l’umanità dei musicisti e le loro apparecchiature elettroniche che assemblano e scompongono bit plasmandoli in suoni. Tuttavia a dispetto di tali premesse e della stasi annunciata dal titolo, il cd brulica di vita, di forme in divenire, di colori (sia pure desaturati sino a diventare toni di grigio) e di inattese aperture quasi melodiche che non riescono a trattenersi dall’arrancare tra fredde e desolate rovine digitali. Un bug nella programmazione che lascia filtrare residui di emozioni che il pulsare dei circuiti e degli algoritmi non possono arrestare.

Due soli i brani di ‘Stasis’, con i quasi 30 minuti del primo, Skyr Stillheten, ad occupare i due terzi del cd. Introdotto da fosche nebbie digitali e da lunghe strisce di suoni che si allungano verso l’alto come i fumi di pire lasciate a morire su distese di nulla, a poco a poco emergono suoni scricchiolanti, echi di voci abbandonate, imperturbabili mormorii in bassa frequenza e impetuose maree grigie ed avvelenate. Non riesco a togliermi dalle orecchie l’immagine di una qualche strana forma di paesaggio tra l’organico e il meccanico, in lenta e continua mutazione, con la musica come a circumnavigare e zoomare su alcuni dettagli per poi lasciarli disintegrare. Ad un certo punto gli eventi sonori diventano più concitati, interferenze, disturbi, bleeps, flickering dei sensi, strutture che iniziano a sfaldarsi. Il piccolo miracolo avviene alla fine con una quasi impercettibile melodia che inizia a scavare ed emergere. Nasce come un organo, cresce come un malnutrito Fennesz in slow motion e muore con struggente dolcezza quasi acustica. Incessanti pulsazioni, luccichii digitali, rombi lontani per Flytende Stillheten, più accessibile nella sua relativa brevità, ma leggermente meno suggestiva. Consiglio vivamente l’ascolto in cuffia per apprezzare al meglio i, per citare Bernhard Günter , détails agrandis contenuti in ‘Stasis’.
– Kathodik

I was hit with mild heartbreak as I took scissors to my copy of Stasis, which arrived at ATTN:HQ in a vacuum-sealed silver plastic pack. Ultimately I’m glad that I did it, as such an action broke my preconceptions of the music that resided within based on visual aesthetic alone; Zbeen’s latest EP is far from the sterile, bleeping circuit board of sonic calculus that it I imagined it to be, and in fact, it actually feels just open to the experiential unknowing of the physical world as previous EP K-Frame.
It’s like a sonic laboratory: electric whistles quiver gently like agitated molecules under microscope slides, stutters of computer processes churn out real-time analysis and error codes, reverberant howls and distant high-pitched drones hint towards the reactive experiments occurring in neighbouring rooms. Yet rather than shut itself exclusively within clinical white spaces and painstakingly controlled modes of behaviour, the release is full of excursions into the outdoors: traffic noise, shoes crunching on dry rubble. In fact, the extent to which the duo explore both abstraction and a rich, multi-sensory tangibility is quite remarkable, with the bubbles and scrapes 26 minutes into “Skyr Stillheten” (for which reference points are difficult pick out, other than the amplified sound of an insect eating) demonstrating the release at its most earthly and animalistic.
Where the first half approaches moments of volume-induced instability via turbulent swells of low frequency, “Flytende Stillheten” takes a tense tightrope walk between silence and audibility. It sounds like the capturing of micro-processes – tiny, tiny indications of life and activity, slithering across empty space and forever feeling prone to fall into it. Silence and death loom large, and I’m left anxiously awaiting the moment at which that miniscule ripple of frequency eventually flatlines, slipping into the stasis of nothing.
– ATTN:Magazine

“Stasis” è il primo CD “stampato” pubblicato da Zbeen, progetto condiviso di Gianluca Favaron ed Ennio Mazzon, che segue il già promettente “K-Frame”, un EP in CD-R rilasciato dalla Ripples. Chi già conosce Gianluca Favaron, e in particolare l’altro suo progetto Under the Snow condiviso con Stefano Gentile, troverà nel presente “Stasis” molti elementi in comune, seppure la differenza sostanziale tra i due progetti è data dalla scelta assoluta e incondizionata di utilizzare esclusivamente suoni di origine elettronica e digitale (salvo qualche rara eccezione…), ambito in cui evidentemente anche Ennio Mazzon si trova perfettamente a suo agio. Le progressioni sono sempre lente, “discrete”, con qualche momento di maggiore “enfasi” costruita attraverso “accumuli” di maggiori quantità di “strati sonori” in forma di “crescendo”… Il suono è sempre e comunque evidentemente freddo, sintetico, perennemente “scricchiolante”, seppure fondi sonori basati su frequenze basse attenuano spesso le “spigolosità elettroniche” restituendo un più “caldo” ed emotivamente “avvolgente” risultato sonoro… La melodia in senso stretto è pressochè del tutto assente, seppure alcuni brevi, accennati, quasi “subliminali” suoni d’impronta più vagamente “musicale” arricchiscono qua e là le glaciali trame sonore… “Stasis” è un album che sicuramente potrà apparire un po’ “ostico” a chi ricerchi emozioni “forti” e contenuti sonori d’impronta più “drammatica” e “toccanti” dal punto di vista prettamente emotivo; ma riuscirà invece ad essere sicuramente apprezzato da chi abbia maggiore “dimestichezza” con sonorità più estreme prettamente elettroniche e digitali, grazie anche ad una forma compositiva ben “ponderata” e finemente articolata che, unitamente ad una buona qualità tecnica del suono, rende comunque estremamente “fruibile” e di piacevole ascolto l’intero CD.
– Oltre il Suono

Di Zbeen abbiamo già parlato, così come di altri progetti di Gianluca Favaron (Under The Snow) ed Ennio Mazzon (Ripples Recordings). La validissima Entr’Acte si è accorta di loro e produce questo Stasis, lavoro basato – come tradizione per l’etichetta inglese – sulla manipolazione più o meno spinta di field recordings. Dei due pezzi di questo disco il mio preferito è il secondo, “Flytende Stillheten”, perché di durata inferiore e più omogeneo e focalizzato: si tratta di una traccia astratta (le sorgenti sonore sono spesso irriconoscibili), che possiede una sorta di violenza chirurgica, fredda, circoscritta, ma molto cupa e dolorosa. Il problema è soggettivo, nel senso che se i field recordings restano “puri”, per me occorre davvero avere una bella storia da raccontare, altrimenti, col diluvio di uscite – specie su web – incentrate su questo modo di fare sound art, è praticamente impossibile catturare l’attenzione. Gianluca ed Ennio, consciamente o meno (e come già nel precedente ep), fanno in modo di arrivare all’ascoltatore senza costringerlo a ulteriori sforzi d’attenzione, quando già si muovono in un contesto nel quale il fruitore dell’opera non è mai casuale, bensì un appassionato che sin da subito sa di doversi approcciare in un certo modo al disco. Per questi motivi il primo brano, che ha una natura più ambient, su 32 minuti qualche colpo finisce per perderlo e farlo perdere, nonostante diversi suoi frangenti siano molto buoni (lo smarrimento iniziale, qualche sprazzo più “musicale” e malinconico, la capacità di scendere nel profondo). A parte questo, Zbeen quest’anno s’è guadagnato meritatamente attenzione. Vedremo se saprà affermarsi per bene in futuro.
– The New Noise

‘Stasis’ is a human/digital hybrid. Here the sound appears to be rather dark. Melody appears throughout these enigmatic pieces. Tiny snippets of humanity burst form from the calm. Large periods of calm are broken up by these few events. At times it appears reminiscent of something approximating field recordings. Clearly elements of a natural world can be heard coming from far away. Yet the focus is on the human aspect of things from a digital perspective. In other words there is a great deal of distance Zbeen puts between the sound and the natural environment. Neither one is entirely comfortable in the situation. And the sudden impulses are reminders of this tension-fueled sound.
Zbeen begins with a wistful melody. ‘Skyr Stillheten’ hovers around. The sound is metallic. At first it resembles a drill. Eventually Zbeen takes this noise and transforms it into an almost extended-carousel tune. In spite of the obvious intense exploration of sound there is playfulness behind it. It is perhaps the closest one can get to a digitally realized inner child. From there Zbeen transforms into ghostly broadcasts. Radio pieces break through the crystal clear surface. Elements of real life break through. Water or an approximation of water weaves its way through. Towards the end it gets particularly harsh in nature. For the closer ‘Flytende Stillheten’ things are much more concentrated. Unlike the opener there is little illusion of a natural world. Rather a take on ONYKO is explored. Behind the harsh tone are atmospheric noises keeping the environment surprising active. While less immediately understood than the first track upon repeated listens it begins to come together.
Both pieces require a large degree of deep listening. Multiple listens can result in greater understanding not only of the sound but of one’s environment. Stasis teems with life.
– Beach Sloth

Releases on Entr’acte from the UK appear with great regularity, in small editions and perhaps because of that hardly land on this desk for review. Too bad I think. But sometimes they reach us because the artist mails it to us, like Ennio Mazzon here, in duo with Gianluca Favaron. They already had a release together as Zbeen, ‘K-Frame’ (reviewed in Vital Weekly 818), which I quite liked a lot. Among them they use programming, digital signal processing and field recordings. Here we have two quite long pieces, one of thirty-two minutes and one of sixteen minutes and it seems to me that these pieces are more or less improvised in the studio. It seems, this time around, a bit less dense than on ‘K-Frame’ and the website says “Stasis elaborates the mathematical metaphor but shifts the attention from the geo-metric theme of ‘the frame’ towards a more physical approach to structures such as vector fields and particularly examining the response of the particles placed within them. The basic premise is that the sonic behavior exhibited by the source particle will depend on the shape of the fields. Specifically, the scope of Stasis is essentially the definition of the potential field of a hypothetical acoustic behaviour.” Which is a bit too much mumbo jumbo for me, I think. I am not sure if I like this over ‘K-Frame’… something tells me I liked that one more. The whole music here is perhaps too fragmented, too chaotic, perhaps too much improvised and in need of some more editing. What I liked about ‘K-Frame’, the shorter, more uniform sense of a ‘piece’ (composition if you will) is something that I miss out here, certainly in ‘Sky Stillheten’, the longest of the two. The other one, ‘Flytende Stillheten’ is more alike it, but then perhaps a bit long in it single minded use of drones. While still a most enjoyable album, not as good as its predecessor.
– FdW | Vital Weekly

Zbeen, K-Frame (Ripples, 2012)
Non è un caso che il prossimo disco di Zbeen esca per Entr’Acte, etichetta che tra Helena Gough, Esther Venrooy e altri predilige la sperimentazione elettronica, specie quella sui field recordings. K-Frame, del cui mastering si è occupato Giuseppe Ielasi (pure lui sul catalogo Entr’Acte), è disponibile sulla net-label di Ennio Mazzon (Ripples), titolare di questo progetto assieme a Gianluca Favaron, che conosciamo anche per Under The Snow, altra sua collaborazione, questa volta assieme a Stefano Gentile di Silentes. I suoni di partenza qui diventano un qualcosa che di volta in volta si sposta lungo la linea ambient-glitch-rumore. K-Frame, in sintesi, è un ep spesso tagliente e teso, che – oltre ai dischi dell’etichetta inglese alla quale s’accennava all’inizio – ricorda nei suoni più aggressivi e “insettosi” lo stile di illustri esponenti del noise. Colpisce soprattutto la seconda metà di questi venti minuti: “Enhet Lengde” è una morte gelida e terrificante, mentre “Retning” è per lunghi un cupissimo assalto di suoni digitalizzati. Non stiamo parlando di roba che sposta confini, ma nemmeno della solita riproposizione noiosa e indiscriminata di mille suoni raccolti col Minidisc.
Cuffie consigliate: si fa sempre più interessante questo Veneto elettronico.
The New Noise

Just when K-Frame begins to sound like the babbling operations desk of a spacecraft, the recurrent mixture of bubbles and sloshes starts to rise up through the middle and uproot the atmospheric basis in the artificial. As the project members (Gianluca Favaron, Ennio Mazzon) state in the quote above, the release preoccupies itself with the abstract concepts of space and energy rather than the objects that bring these concepts into being; thus it is appropriate that K-Frame toes an indistinct line between the organic and the mechanical, harnessing all sorts of hums, beeps, slurps and static bursts in its observation of sonic physics.
Favaron and Mazzon clearly understand the evocation of “dimension” well enough to make best use of it; the release is stacked full of intricate detail that always resounds with clarity, regardless of how densely populated the pieces become. Sheets of white noise hang before electronic beeps without muffling their timbre, while the scrapes and crumbles of earthly material (evoking frictional motion against concrete and rock) emanates beautifully from the centre. However, one aspect that feels under-explored – for this reviewer anyway – is that of sonic reaction and interrelation: sound impacting on other sounds, changes in tone, velocity and pitch that create a notable transformation in the surrounding texture, demonstrating the energy interchange that brings the concept of “force” into existence. But in terms of the other qualities of its construction, K-Frame is otherwise impressive.
– ATTN:Magazine

Progetto nato dietro alle menti di Ennio Mazzon e Gianluca Favaron, esso si identifica in una geometrica, scientifica visione del suono e della sua massa dimensionale.
Sequenze e combinazioni si amplificano in quattro passaggi sonori, nei quali assistiamo a un’ordinata evoluzione di complessità. La sovrapposizione e accumulazione di elementi converge a un intreccio organico, creando una visione ambigua, che tracima nel minimale, in una bassa tensione elettrica. In parallelo è tenuta aperta la finestra su una struttura più ampia e dilatata, sebbene dalle tinte offuscate. Quasi ci si trovasse in mezzo ad una microscopica parte del divenire.
Se la mente trova un riferimento nobile in certe soluzioni del disco all’attitudine della Raster Norton, l’affinità rimane più concettuale che strumentale. Il parallelo con le produzioni di Alva Noto poggia chiaramente nell’ossessivo desiderio di analisi matematica e scientifica della realtà e del suono; qui però si cerca di svilupparlo in una maniera concreta, che cerca nelle field recordings, oltre che nell’elettronica, un forte elemento strutturale.
Un dualismo, quest’ultimo, che prende forza lungo tutta l’opera: se “Sentrert Dot” e “Enhet Lengde” mostrano un’atmosfera ambient saturata da toni acuti e metallici, in cui si innestano gorgoglii naturali e piccoli granuli sonori, la conclusiva “B Retning” mostra il raggiungimento del cosiddetto “K -Frame”, ovvero un insieme ordinato di vettori indipendenti. Tra loop e campionamenti facciamo l’esperienza di un ambiente panico in pieno svolgimento. Dalle apparenze materiali e organiche, la realtà si mostra apparentemente cacofonico, ma attentamente costruito in ogni sua linea teorica.
Un esperimento in laboratorio. Tra formule e ingredienti sezionati, un’opera da studiare sin dalle sue basi concettuali.
– Ondarock

“Grunnlag”, the opening track of the acoustic/electronic noise collaboration between Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon begins with a winning combination: blips, scratches, and a oscillating pulse that eventually mimics the listeners heartbeat, soothing them. It sure as hell worked on “Welcome To The Machine”, except this time the descent into the machine is not a metaphor for some Orwellian fantasy, but literally going inside a machine. K-Frame is surprisingly concise and well held-together. Themes do not become too strung out and boring. In the description for the release, ZBEEN provides us with a novel observation, based in science, that alternately confuses and describes the music perfectly:
“Sounds act as vectors and they can be regarded as the representation of quantities like force and velocity which are defined by magnitude and direction.”
With this kept in mind, it appears that ZBEEN decided to push outwards with their music, crafted pieces that shine in a delicate, warm natural light. They are they coated with a myriad of well constructed field recordings that seem to have been made in a fantasy warehouse full of more odds-and-ends than the Mythbusters lab. Then things get really wild on “Enhet Lengde”. I’m not normally one who has electro-acoustic field recordings in regular rotation, but this is the point where I started to regard ZBEEN less as a scientific experimental entity and more as a group of artists creating art. Throughout the remainder of the release I imagined myself aboard a spacecraft, peering out into the vast emptiness, embracing the tranquility as subtle machines worked in the background, purring.
– Foxy Digitalis

Zbeen is the digitalization of nature. ‘K Frame’ consists of field recordings made into electronic artifacts. It’s strange. Beyond strange I’d say. What is on here could have easily fit onto the Ritornell label. Yes, the abstraction of nature is rather fascinating. I’m reminded of a more active version of Asmus Tietchens’ work. It is that removed from anything normal or possibly distinguishable. As soon as something sounds nearly human, it disappears under so many ongoing layers of sound.
‘Grunnlag’ introduces you to this strange world. A random ‘ping’ keeps on coming on, like an elevator bringing you to your destination. But this music doesn’t have a specific location, or even a melody. This is mysterious mood music. Half the joy of this song is trying to figure out when humanity got involved.
This happens throughout the disc. One wonders ‘Where are the humans, lifeforms, etc.’? A lot of this gets rather aggressive as well. After the first track the low bass frequencies take on a very harsh temperament. ‘Sentrert Dot’ makes these low frequencies nearly punishing. ‘B Retning’ is physically punishing. Besides mere bass frequencies, it employs a harsh static to wipe any chance at melodies. It’s also the closer and an appropriate closer given its active sonic environment.
‘K Frame’ sounds like panicked machines. It sounds extremely tense. At no point throughout the disc does this aural pain let up. This is some extraordinarily strange sound art. It challenges the listener to find its method as it spirals out of control.
– Beach Sloth

Zbeen is the project of Ennio Mazzon and Gianluca Favaron and K-frame their first work together. Described as vectors to define space, K-Frame is a densely populated record that lives on the experimental side of electronic music.
K-frame is like sitting in at the middle of an electro magnetic field. Electrically buzzing signals move from left to right, intertwine with needle sharp high frequency tones and narrow field recordings. As much as it is not possible to focus on one element directly, the tension grows and the impression of swarms of electricity set into acoustic motion grows. This sounds like a messy version of Raster Noton or Ritornell releases. Messy not in a bad sense, but because Zbeen does not have the clinical strictness of the former mentioned. What they share is the way how they amplify structure.T he individual pieces have a nearly microscopic focus on detail, which show the fuzziness, the unschärfe of the elements. While Alva Noto and the likes rely on a very structured grid, with Zbeen sound seems to move rather by association; Permuting permanently, expanding at the seam and contracting more fluidly. At some points this reminds of early electronic forays of the Forbidden Planet variety, but with a strong computer based leaning. I’d love to hear this in 5.1 with all those rapidly moving sounds transmutating in the room around me. Just as with all Ripples Recordings releases, this is really good stuff and shouldn’t be missed out.
– Resonant Strata

K-frame is a chemical experiment that takes place under loose supervision. The “k-frame” is the framework in which the sonics develop: the programming of Ennio Mazzon, the electronics of Gianluca Favaron and the field recordings of each. Force, magnitude, velocity and direction are all listed as elements in the lab. While they have been combined with iron tongs, each may still be extracted for identification and perusal.
Force: The sheer power of the set: the beat-free bludgeoning of raw and processed sound that provides the four pieces with their visceral punch. The volatility of these sounds demand that they be handled with care. Insulated gloves are recommended.
Magnitude: The proceedings are large and loud, whether watery sample, pinged tone or rising sonic rush. Whenever the sound levels rise, the heart races faster in response. Lab assistants should practice breathing techniques in order to prevent arrhythmia.
Velocity: Developments unfold much faster than expected, despite the presence of looped elements. While the speed is not rapid, the energy is high, like that of excited protons. Alert lab partners are recommended, as a moment’s lack of concentration could mean the difference between life and death.
Direction: Each track seems stuck in forward, like a car with no reverse gear or rear-view mirror. This strange propulsion is achieved via accumulation. The more weight, the heavier each piece becomes, until it begins to move on its own. For this reason, no one is allowed to leave the lab until all pieces have been locked down for the evening.
Viscosity: A fifth element created through drone, tone, and drop-in sound. In this case, the substance is thick, but not hardened, a dense mass that still manages to flow. These elements may operate within the k-frame, but they threaten to break its wooden barriers like a captured beast from a cracked crate. Please remember that these sounds are not domesticated, and that if damages occur, they will be the full responsibility of the people on duty at the time of the incident.
– Richard Allen | A Closer Listen

/tinnitus wave tones/
/electronic consciousness/
/travel by glitch ticks/
– Anti-Gravity Bunny

A duo of Ripples label boss Ennio Mazzon (programming, signal processing, field recordings) and Gianluca Favaron (microphones, field recordings, loops, electronics), who work with a continuously rotating sounds based on loops culled from static sounds, acoustic sounds and electronics. Five pieces in total, just over twenty three minutes, which doesn’t make it too easy to pin this down. There is a certain density about these recordings which I liked. Sounds keep popping up, play around for a while and then disappear, but pieces never collapse when things are removed. It has some fine textures here, moody and microscopic, filling out my space quite nicely. Maybe it has to do with the mastering of the CD (by Giuseppe Ielasi) that brought out more of the music, but it has a great vibrancy and liveliness to it. I wish it was all a bit longer with two or three more tracks. Very nice one, one of the best which involves Mazzon.
– FdW | Vital Weekly

Celadon (Impulsive Habitat, 2010)
“The Unexpected River”
Ennio Mazzon is no stranger to even the most casual netlabel follower with releases on Resting Bell and Audiotalaia among several other netlabels. His work is easily classified as experimental, but there are two main branches of work: field recordings and electronic audio. As with any artists, often times these styles collide as they did with Celadon (Impulsive Habitat).

The liner notes state that the work was originally going to be a field recording study of Piave, a river in northeastern Italy. It was to be a listen to the natural sounds and the man-made sounds that incorporate the river and its shores. But as all good projects go, they begin to have a mind of their own and take the artist to places they were not planning on going. What Celadon (mp3) became was an amalgamation of Mazzon’s two branches of work, something beyond a field recording and beyond an electronic composition. Mazzon took these disparate approaches to sound and balances them into one journey. One moment we are awash in the ripples of the river and the next, heavily manipulated and unnatural loops. Celadon is a 30-minute experiment that succeeds because of the touch of Mazzon’s ear, our experienced guide along this fabricated river.
– actsofsilence.com

Ya conocemos a Ennio Mazzon por sus colaboraciones y publicaciones en varios netlabels, resting bell o audiotalaia son un par de ejemplos.
En esta ocasión presenta un trabajo de grabaciones de campo para el netlabel portugués Impulsive Habitat que ultimamente está imparable. Celadon es un trabajo centrado en el rio italiano Piave, y en los contrastes que existen entre las zonas más naturales y las más urbanas por donde pasa, al menos esa era la idea inicial, ya que Ennio se ha alejado de esta al añadir otros sonidos a la composición, como motores, y algo de electrónica. Dejando de ser un documento de field recordings puro y duro. De todas formas creo que es un trabajo muy bueno, y al igual que el anterior lanzamiento del sello, ofrece una escucha agradable durante los 30 minutos que dura.
– Oír para creer