Review: Itto - Sound on an Empty Road (2006)


artist: Itto
release: Sound on an Empty Road
format: CD-R
year of release: 2006
label: Elvis Cof­fee
dur­a­tion: 38:47

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Itto is a pro­ject of Neil Rowl­ing (Goat­boy) and Ian Hol­lo­way (Psychic Space Inva­sion). This album is one long track of dark dron­ing ambi­ent, with some field record­ings and instru­ments thrown in. I found this album a bit tough to get into, but it turns out to con­tain a subtle beauty that does show itself after attent­ive listen­ing.

The track starts with some very deep layered drones, and this con­tin­ues on dur­ing the first third of the length. More and more sounds of dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies drift in dur­ing this sec­tion, provid­ing vari­ation. About halfway, a soft gui­tar melody breaks through the drones, which cre­ates a more peace­ful atmo­sphere than the rather dark begin­ning. Towards the last quarter of the track, night­time atmo­spheres and slightly noisy waves take over the lead, send­ing the track back into cold dark­ness.

This album requires a quiet envir­on­ment, head­phones and attent­ive listen­ing, oth­er­wise it won’t be able to show its mer­its. That makes it per­haps a bit lim­ited in its scope, because its not as inter­est­ing as back­ground music as some other ambi­ent. How­ever, if you’re a patient listener and a lover of deep obscure sound­scapes, this is a very fine release. The real sound of an empty road can be inter­est­ing enough in the right cir­cum­stances, but this musical inter­pret­a­tion is surely worth your atten­tion.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Sound on an Empty Road (38:47)

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