Carlos Giffoni – Adult Life CD

29 March 2010 xdementia No Comment

Carlos Giffoni – Adult Life CD

No Fun Productions

After witnessing 4 of Giffoni’s sets live at No Fun Fests this is actually the first time I’ve ever heard any of his recorded material. Adult Life has all the aspects that should make up a great release. A thick cardboard digipak with great printing of some classy artwork, interesting and cryptic track names that give the illusion of depth, and some great thick and full production for the sounds. Adult Life does offer some solid strange synthesized atmospheres but tends to be a bit heavy handed where source material is concerned.

The tracks on Adult Life have a certain sound to them that is difficult to describe. After seeing Giffoni perform numerous times and listening to the disc it’s clear that the sound sources here are from high-quality modular synthesizers which can certainly be heard in the crisp clear production. Loud and powerful, these sounds rage on like an endless fire burning deep in the center of the earth.

Each track consists of about 3 or 4 different layers, each being subtly manipulated. Sometimes the changes are unnoticeable, sometimes they alternate drastically. The determining factor for my opinion on each track on Adult Life tends to be whether I enjoy the individual elements or not. The opener “The Endless Mirror” has a title that reminds me of looking into several mirrors angled into each other and seeing that staring into infinity effect. I was always fascinated with that as a child. Well, I can’t say the sounds here do it justice. Three simple loops fade in and out, one being a buzzing drone, the other two being almost techno-ish rhythmic synthesizer sounds. The extreme linear quality of the track greatly diminishes the expectations that were set up in the title.

Luckily I’m digging “Comfort and Pleasure” a bit more, even though it comes off as being yet more stripped down. It’s got a great noisy drone that doesn’t get tiring and there’s a little more done with some of the other layers to make it a bit more successful then the opener. “A Son With No Father” is another good one which features a more rhythmic pulsating core and washes of noisier glitchy sound layers sent through a modulating delay. Both of these tracks come off as a bit moodier with heavier sounds.

The descent into moodiness continues with yet another warm analog pulse in “This is How You Pull The Trigger”. Some of the more melodic lines that come in about halfway through I’m not too crazy about it. The frequencies traveled here just seem kind of random and canned. It also becomes so stripped down as to be quite boring towards the end. Finally, the closer “A Permanent Choice” offers some more really awesome synth sounds which eventually weave in and out of eachother until one of them breaks into some kind of strange arpeggio. Unfortunately Giffoni just continues this stripped-down approach way too long and it just gets old until a blast of harsh synth noise comes in and almost saves the track.

Much of Adult Life uses some great sound sources and some mediocre, but there’s just not enough here for my particular taste. The tracks are too long and don’t offer enough variety in composition or source material to really keep my attention. In addition, some of the sources are a bit generic, albiet the production is always fantastic, very crisp and clear but the other aspects of the releases just aren’t quite up there.

Composition: ★½☆☆☆
Sounds: ★★☆☆☆
Production Quality: ★★★★★
Concept: ★★★☆☆
Packaging: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

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