Vito Ricci - A Symphony For Amiga LP


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Label: Intelligent Instruments

Our Review:

Amiga hardly has the same name recognition of contemporary 1980s gaming systems like Nintendo or Sega or even Atari, much less the personal computer behemoths it was competing against at the time like Apple and IBM, yet Amiga's fatal flaw was not technology, but rather marketing. In the decades since its initial release Amiga has become recognized as an ahead of its time machine – with sound and video cards that were unparalleled for years. In 1994 Byte Magazine wrote, "Today, it's obvious the Amiga was the first multimedia computer, but in those days it was derided as a game machine because few people grasped the importance of advanced graphics, sound and video."

Vito Ricci, it could be argued, is the Amiga of the 1980s downtown New York scene. Though he may not share the fame and commercial success of many of his contemporaries, he has since become recognized as a groundbreaking composer and innovator in experimental electronic music. Composing mostly for theater and dance pieces, Ricci only released a few albums in the 80s and 90s and was far more known in the insular world of contemporary experimental theater and sound design than in record collector circles, until Music From Memory's 2015 compilation I Was Crossing A Bridge shed light on the three-decade career of this influential composer and performer.

Composed using Laurie Spiegel's 1986 electronic software for Amiga, Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument, and complemented only by voice and guitar, Ricci's first new release in 20+ years, A Symphony For Amiga (the inaugural release for the Intelligent Instruments label) may be deeply indebted to the 1980s, but it has a sound that is completely timeless. Throbbing, suspenseful minimalism combines with drone washes and ethereal post-new age to gorgeous if haunting effect. A wonderful and long overdue new release from a New York pioneer.