Matt Borghi - "December Impressions in 11 Sequences" (self-released 2001, CDR)

From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)

This release is a small departure in style from Matt's previous efforts. He has always described his music as "space ambient," which it still is. The eleven sequences on this CD are more constant than before. There isn't as much variation because Matt focuses on building and maintaining an singular atmosphere that flows from one sequence to the next. "December Impressions" strikes me as a soundtrack for a winter night spent on a snow-covered field under a blanket of shimmering stars. Matt walks us across the fine line between chilling and comforting. He captures the silence of space perfectly and makes us wonder whether it is a portent of peace or harsh indifference. The terms "cold and glistening" come to mind. Most of the tracks consist of a couple of nearly identical synth lines dancing around each other to deliver the space effect. The technique reminds me of a movie score that might build itself on top of a constant synth line that would be used for nothing other than a space sequence. Matt uses that single synth line and splices it with just a few other counterparts with impressive results. He accomplishes a lot with a minimalist's tools. I cannot help but think of a starry winter's night when I hear these sequences. Judging by his CD title, he has hit the target dead center without the use of massive layering. The music is pleasant to listen to in the background or with headphones. I doubt I would take up all 44 minutes at once, though.

For more information and to hear sound files you can visit Matt Borghi at his web site at:
Contact via snail mail c/o Matt Borghi; PO Box 181; New Hudson, MI 48165-0181.

Reviewed by Anish Bhatia

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