ALBERTO BOCCARDI - eponymous (CD Fratto9 Under The Sky Records)

The five cuts representing this debut album by Italian electronic artist and engineer, Boccardi, outside a couple of promisingly more powerful minutes at the beginning, largely ebb into those spaces where abstract sounds are tempered into an atmospheric whole further chiselled into shape via convoluted rhythms. Shaded anywhere between the vaguely melancholic, such as on ‘Unexpected Places, We Saw’, with its almost Sigur Ros-like chord changes, and the kind of material Vladislav Delay have long established (replete with female voices, no less), there is really rather nothing here that’ll take you anywhere new. As usual with such music, it all ends up being too polished and overtly polite. Only the last cut, ‘Clocking the Time’, featuring a delightfully treated sax perhaps not pushed far enough, courtesy of Luca Rampini, nods towards something more unexpected and unsettling. Beyond this, it all reeks of someone who knows his way around his studio set-up but has little to express. I’m guessing he should stick to his engineering work… . RJ