The latest release to drop from UK electronic label Soundtracking The Void is NYC’s Salvatore Mercatante’s Presents Pistacchio Sessions. On Presents Pistacchio Sessions Mercatante trades his swaths of heavy synth for a more techno-heavy sound. He mixes the existential space drifts of last year’s The Foundations Of Eternal Sin with more dance floor-ready explorations. Though Mercatante never truly abandons those melancholy swaths of electronica, he merely gives them a beat to sway to.
“I” is 808-like booms and snaps over decadent electro radiance that could easily have scored the opening credits to some early 80s late night viewing. It’s a head bopper for sure, but there’s still something under the surface that seems dangerous. “II” has touches of sunlight and optimism in its melodies. There’s something familiar in this track’s gorgeous lean. Maybe reminiscent of more pop-oriented Krautrock of the late 70s/early 80s. “IV” is reminiscent of more modular explorations. I’m reminded of contemporaries like Entrancer, Isvisible/Isinvisible, and some of the more experimental stuff from the Software label.
Mercatante never drops the looming electro doom completely, as on the slow burn of “VI” with its touchs of Carpenter and Vangelis accompanied by some serious electro strut. Album closer “VII” takes its time, wafting from the speakers like a low fog at dawn. Despite the slow burn, there’s a touch of hopefulness in the ambient drone that creeps from the speakers.
SM is one of the more interesting and thoughtful electronic musicians working today. He grasps the humanity that can be pulled from the blipping lights and patch cord chaos of electronic music. Presents Pistacchio Sessions is yet another outstanding collection of songs from Mr. Mercatante.
8.2 out of 10
Presents Pistacchio Sessions is available now via Soundtracking The Void. Buy it here.
3 thoughts on “SM : Presents Pistacchio Sessions”
I’ve been coming here long enough, this doesn’t surprise me. I see where it’s going, your excellent descriptions confirm it. I can do ambient, I can do darker, but there’s something in me that resists something this close to straight up 80s electro dance. Maybe if it was one track on a soundtrack of some forgotten sf movie, but not a whole album of it. At least not often. Not to knock the excellence of what they accomplished here, either.
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It tows the line between dance and more ethereal stuff, IMO. I’m not a techno fan, really. But I can lock into this.
Right on, that’s what matters!!
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