Roberto Musci & Giovanni Venosta - Water Messages On Desert Sand LP


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Label: ReR Megacorp

Our Review:

The Italian experimental/electronic duo of Roberto Musci and Giovanni Venosta have been collaborating for over 30 years. Their first album together, Water Messages On Desert Sand, is finally being reissued on vinyl, making it available for the first time since its initial release in 1987 on Chris Cutler's Recommended Records. Often compared to Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts or Jon Hassell's "fourth world" music, the work of Musci/Venosta is both more varied and also more sensitive to the cultures that inform their style than that of their contemporaries. Beginning in the early 1980s, Musci traveled to Africa, India and beyond recording musicians far outside of the spotlight of the old guard of the 20th Century avant-garde. Where the work of many "fourth world" artists can seem academic, stiff and contrived, that of Musci and Venosta is much more personal and organic.

Beginning with ethnographic field recordings as both source material and primary influence, Musci and Venosta layer those samples with synthesizer, piano, guitar, horns, percussion and more to create music that truly transcends genre, space and time. While the album is held together thematically, the stylistic variance from song-to-song is impressive – at times recalling anything from ambient techno and early IDM to spiritual jazz, library music, Wally Badarou's future-island and funeral dirges. The last couple years have seen a resurgence in interest in the work of Musci with the release of several reissues and archival releases, but none is more welcome than this reissue of his first LP with Venosta – one of the more elusive titles in their discography and arguably the best.