Restored 29 June 2017, originally published 09 March 2015
With many potential distractions (in music, in life) vying for your attention, where do you focus? That’s the conundrum Eniac’s music presents on this article’s release. It’s a fascinating journey while you figure out an answer.
Musician and sound artist Fabio Battistetti, performing as Eniac, says of his album Reclaim The Horizon (released on the Acustronica netlabel) that it is “a look to the entire world through the sound: just stop for a while to observe and realize the real pace of the life without sliding away in the day life’s noise.” My initial thought upon reading that description was that I would be hearing some focused pieces; music somewhat removed from the busy-ness of our daily routines. In fact, listening to this album actually had the opposite effect on me; I felt each song created a sample of the many things going on around me all the time, and maybe the intent here is to give you the bigger picture of what’s happening “out there.”
Overall, the complex construction of this music never really settles on easy-to- grasp melodies. There are subtle and changing variations in mood competing within each track that can take you from feeling calm to uneasy. Each song seems to have three or four layers. Sometimes the sound is spacey, sometimes eerie, sometimes uplifting, and sometimes all that and more at the same time. With each listen I find I am focusing on different elements from each song. You might say I’m trying to look at the forest, but constantly turn my attention to the trees.
To give you an idea what you are in for, let’s look the last three tracks. This is a run of songs I felt particularly stood out. On “mou_n_tain_s call” there is an incessant beat, although it changes at one point from strong, echoed pounding to what sounds like a bouncing basketball full of static. Around the rhythm, you get layers of feedback, industrial noises, sparks, and drones, and it all wraps up with a short loudspeaker announcement I can’t quite decipher. When it ends I feel like I’ve been on subway ride through another dimension.
Perhaps pushing us further out into the wider world, the next song “lilla istiden” is anchored by what sounds like a simple djembe beat mixed with subtle Indian percussion, mixed over drones and a manipulated sine wave oscillator. If there were ever a Bollywood production of The Outer Limits this might fit nicely on the soundtrack.
Final cut “deriva” has meandering piano notes as its focus. It brings to mind the Sonic Youth track “Providence” if you cut out the Watt answering machine messages and replace them with lots of machine noises.
Ultimately for me, Reclaim The Horizon represents the big world of activity out there. Maybe you don’t need to focus in one place. Instead, always keep your ears open to appreciate the competing layers of sound; you may find many interesting things you have been missing.
Eniac – “deriva”
Reclaim The Horizon Download page