Genre/Influences: Electronic, experimental, cinematographic, electro-ambient.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: Mortar Devotions is a Helsinki (Finland) based collaboration between Nona Et Decima, originally from Italy and Aleksei Tsernjavski, performing here as Огни. The album of their work clearly indicates what the concept is all about; a kind of imaginary soundtrack inspired by obscure historical events that occurred in Italy between the 70s and the early 90s, which include the revolutionary (both leftist and rightist) struggle against the Italian establishment, the relationship between secret services, government and terrorism ao.
Content: The album takes off by an overwhelming and pure soundtrack inspired cut with some spooky vocal effects and a slow cadence. The tracks are supported by a disturbing sphere, but quite progressively you’ll hear emerging electronic sequences and arrangements. The tracks have something electro-industrial like, but also somewhat ambient. The global approach somewhat reminds me of the 90s French industrial project Stigma.
+ + + : This is probably one of the most ‘electronic’ releases I’ve heard on Eighth Tower Records (sub-division of Unexplained Sounds Group) although it remains connected with the dark-ambient style. This project creates a perfect twist between electronic-, industrial- and cinematographic music. I like the electronic creation, but also the way it has been elaborated and sometimes accomplished with little-, but essential details like crispy noises, low strings, sweeps and slow rhythm patterns. It all together creates a disturbing, ghost-like atmosphere. The album contains 5 cuts and there’s none to throw away. I however have a preference for the terrific last track (cf. “Part V”) and the second one (cf. “Part II”). Last, but not least I also have to say a word about the sober, but artistic digipak format of the CD edit.
– – – : I don’t have real minus points and I sincerely hope this project will consider composing further works.
Conclusion: Mortar Devotions emerges from nowhere, but accomplished a meaningful and creative album!
Best songs: “Part V”, “Part II”, “Part III”.
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.