Beyond Time
Maurizio Abate & Matteo Uggeri


beyond timeJames Catchpole, Fluid Radio

In Beyond Time, a gentle collaboration between fellow Italians Maurizio Abate and Matteo Uggeri, an elegant, softly-lit guitar sits on a marble throne, the glowing sunshine not really filtering into the fine atmosphere from the sky up above but rather flowing from the instrument itself. Light falls all around, calming the atmosphere as it approaches its afternoon riposo. The pale-white stone steps that line the side streets are made brighter with the arrival of this light.

Beyond Time explores the past as well as the present; those sunshine days seemed so real at the time, lived to the full as they were, but as the decades have grown they’ve become intangible, blurry things, just one blot on a fading canvas getting weaker with every passing day. The past claims the moments in the same way that the sea claims its sailors, and while both artists share their personal reflections on the album, the listener can understand these associated images and memories. The music means something for everyone with its long-standing and important themes of family, comfort and love intermingling with the precious recollections of youth. The crystalline experiences stay with you, and they’re usually moments that make you feel truly alive: the cool, shallow intakes of breath while running, mud spraying up over the trainers and onto the legs, or the way that the sky lit up in an amber glow just before sunset. Life has its sweet pleasure and its barren heartbreak, but it goes on. As such, the music is generally positive, tinted by good health.

The music envelops completely; we rustle through it as if passing through slender, Summer-lit shoots of grass, fingers gently bending back the feather reeds and the purple fountains. The white sunshine is in the guitar, glistening with the appearance of every note. And even though the guitar’s notes are, at times, speedy little things, the music itself remains calm and collected; the speed within doesn’t translate to the feeling on the outside. The Indian pitch-lilts of ‘East’ are transcendent beings which act calmly and responsibly; the music is a voyage to a place beyond the reaches of time. In a quiet Italian village, the soft, electronically-treated sounds merge with the day. Colours are slowly made bolder. Field recordings announce passing voices and casual acquaintances. Footsteps echo through the music, but they’re obscured and murky, like a black pool of coffee or an orb of hanging dust, and the sublimely sculpted architecture, of which Italy is famous for, smoothly reflects the music and its beautiful curves.

History has a way of not only bleeding into the present but of repeating itself, as things seem to come back around again time and time again, forever turning in slow circles. The music of Beyond Time can’t be bottled or distilled; it’s a gateway to calm. When we slow things down, we reap the many rewards. Sitting in stillness as the caressing music laps against your body is a meditation in itself. While a piano enters as we go deeper into the ambient music, it’s only a fleeting appearance, and, later on, the muted, cooler intervals of ‘West’ give off a mysterious vibe as the gently treated electronic sounds float by. We’ve come full circle, travelling from east to west, beyond the boundaries of time.

Beach Sloth

Maurizio Abate & Matteo Uggeri’s “Beyond Time” explores the experimental side of subdued folk. With love for their surroundings the duo incorporates field recordings into the mix with the utmost of ease. The way the sound evolves over the course of the album is simply beautiful as they appear to bring a lot of surprises into the mix. By keeping the sound on its toes they celebrate the sometimes unexpected moments in life. All of this is anchored by their strong ear for melody and form which helps to guide the album. While they take a rather loose approach they always remain focused on the emotional core of the pieces even as they sometimes include elements of the abstract into the field of sound.

Small sounds introduce the album on the tiny tones of “Part I (time)”. Guitar work is deliberate as the song focuses on atmosphere and mood. More playful in nature is the nimble, almost John Fahey like finger picking of “Part II (east)” where they keep tempos slow in order to allow each sound to shine. Haunting glowing drones underpin the delicate “Part III (slow)”. Found conversation comes to serve as the heart of the arrangement on the tender “Part V (grandma)”. Ambitious in its execution is the thrilling optimism of “Part VII (breath)”. Easily the most intriguing piece of the album the way it twists and turns is deeply compelling. “Part IX (beyond time)” closes the album off on a soothing note as it strips away everything else to get to the heart of the matter.

Teeming with life, Maurizio Abate & Matteo Uggeri create a mystical journey on the surreal “Beyond Time”.

Jamie, Norman Records

If there’s one thing those lovely be-jumpered chaps at Time Released Sound know how to do, it’s pastorally evocative. This collaborative release I hold in my hand from Maurizio Abate and Matteo Uggeri is no exception; its sense of wintry cosiness is never insisted upon, however. Just in time for the Winterval season, too. Which is a nice bonus.

This time around the guitar is totemic -- central to the structure of the record -- with lovely subtle flourishes and electronic textures to complement the atmosphere. Crisp, crunchy field recordings sit happily behind drifts, acoustic pickings and strummings. Every element is placed just ever so gently so, time released and timeless. These guys will take you back to simpler times (did they exist? We assume so) and in a perfectly elegant way. A record that speaks of another time in folk space yet never wallows indulgently in nostalgia. Electronic and electro-acoustic sounds blend seamlessly to caress you, hold your attention throughout yet invite you to gaze into a real log fire (or find a video of one on YouTube). I am much impressed, but then I am given to dreaming… now and then.

Gino Dal Soler, Blow Up

Philippe Blache, Igloo Mag

Well known for his chamber post-rock orchestra Sparkle in Grey as well as his numerous friendship collaborations (with Deison, Andrea Ferraris, Francesco Giannico…) The Milan based sound artist Matteo Uggeri is back with one nicely made and beautifully craft based dreamy ambient folk album. In this new adventure he is accompanied by Maurizio Abate on various string instruments. Matteo provides sculpted and sonic electronic sound textures while Maurizio writes melodious-introspective lines but also processes to aleatoric manipulations on acoustic instruments.

The result is exquisitely dreamy, eerily contemplative and melancholic with slight touches of humor and poetical derision (which is a usual stylistic signature in Matteo Uggeri’s musical production). An important gallery of field recordings and found sounds enrich the content and provide a convincing cinematic-poetical mood. Hard to categorize this one but it certainly has its legitimacy in the ambient folk sub-genre next to releases from Eilean rec., Shimmering Moods and Wistrec. However, and contrary to the traditional sound aesthetic offered by representative bands of the genre, this album includes an important dose of treatments and even a minimal dada-esque glitch flavor, punctuated by a pleasant sense of exoticism and experimentalism.

A recommended effort which successes to launch a bridge between folk-ish experimentation, electro-acoustic paradigms and minimal ambient soundscapes.

Mirco Salvadori, Rockerilla

Raffaello Russo, Music Won't Save You

Quando Matteo Uggeri torna a percorrere i sentieri più acustici e dilatati della sua composita espressione artistica, si tratta quasi sempre di esperienze creative preziose; quella più recente lo vede insieme allo spirito isolazionista di Maurizio Abate, a sua volta tra i più ispirati “mistici” della sperimentazione chitarristica italiana e non solo. Le nove istantanee elettro-acustiche nelle quali è articolata la loro opera collaborativa “Beyond Time” sono appunto il frutto di un incontro tra pratiche artistiche tra loro diverse eppure pienamente complementari.

Un microcosmo sonoro costituito da field recordings, frammenti vocali e dall’ambience rugiadosa propria di alcuni lavori di Uggeri incapsula infatti i fragili arabeschi ricamati da Abate su corde non semplicemente pizzicate secondo una varietà di tempi e dinamiche, ma intrecciate a creare filigrane armoniche e risonanze visionarie, amplificate proprio da fondali di volta in volta granulosi, ovattati o costituiti da sospensioni cristallizzate in un tempo alieno.

Le fluide armonie di “Part I (Time)”, le modulazioni notturne di “Part IV (Ship)”, gli accenti ritualistici di “Part III (Slow)” e di “Part VI (Mud)”, il polveroso picking di “Part VIII (West)”, le aperture di arrangiamento di “Part II (East)” e l’istantanea cinematica di “Part V (Grandma)” altro non sono che diverse sfaccettature di un comune lavoro di cesello che incornicia corde acustiche e frequenze minimali in un ambiente sonoro che, come da titolo, trascende il tempo e quello stesso silenzio, infine, lambito dalla conclusiva “Part IX (Beyond Time)”.

Daniel Krcál, Rokko's Adventures

Gitarren-Fraktale und Field Recordings, die extrem gelungen verschmelzen und tiefenentspannt
wendig ineinander fließen. Eine Zwiesprache der geordneten und ungeordneten,
der komponierten und sich selbst komponierenden Welt, die zu erstaunlichen Resultaten
und Geräusch- Melodie-Strukturierungen führt. Die Gitarre schlängelt sich durch Folk-Akzente,
klingt mal asiatisch, verballhornt sich dann wieder ins Schottische oder Countryeske, zupft
sich in Rhythmen, verliert sich in Landschaften, Stimmen, Lauten, dezenten Verfremdungen, ist verliebt in die sie umgebende Schallwelt, spielt mit dieser, spielt mit jedem noch so kleinen Klopfen, Rascheln, Schaben, lässt mit sich spielen, sich treiben und inspirieren. Ereignisreiche Stille, fantasietreibende Kontemplation, bereichernd erfrischendes Klangabtauchen. Einfach
nur: schön, schön und noch einmal schön!

Mario Biserni, SandS-zine

Da una parte gli strumenti a corda di Maurizio Abate (considero tale anche una ghironda) e dall’altra il computer, l’elettronica e gli oggetti (considero tale anche una tromba) di Matteo Uggeri, in una di quelle giustapposizioni completamente riuscite. Ai suoni arpeggiati o lunghi (quelli trattati con e-bow e quelli della ghironda) rispondono i patchwork di natura concreta. In pratica salt-n-pepa delle nuove musiche. A disturbare l’idillio solo qualche piacevole incursione (Serrapiglio al violoncello in V e VI, Krostopovic alla viola in VIII e De Ponti che aggiunge suoni registrati in II, III e IV). “Beyond Tine è un disco pastorale e autunnale, novembrino direi, quando il sognare giocoso della natura viene compromesso dalle prime brume e dalla tristezza dell’inverno imminente. La compenetrazione fra i brani, che scorrono senza soluzione di continuità, crea l’effetto coinvolgente dell'unica suite. Potrei azzardare il termine neo-classicismo, seppur rivisto in un’ottica, e con tecniche e suoni, che ci ancorano inequivocabilmente al XXI° secolo. Da citare Grandma, dove il racconto dell’anziana signora fa in qualche modo pensare a quel capolavoro da riscoprire che è “Dove dormono gli autobus” di Paolo Angeli.
Per Abate questa è semplicemente la nuova tappa di un percorso luminoso mentre per Uggeri è un ottima premessa/promessa per il dopo Sparkle In Grey.
Per noi è semplicemente una goduria.

So What

Un universo confortevole dominato da sensazioni semplici ma profonde, rivissuto attraverso una successione di ricordi vividi permeati da un costante senso di nostalgia. È un viaggio in un passato non troppo distante nel tempo, tanto da poterlo sentire nostro, quello modellato da Maurizio Abate e Matteo Uggeri attraverso i nove capitoli che compongono "Beyond time".

Si incastrano alla perfezioni le ricche trame elaborate alla chitarra da Abate sui fondali vaporosi in lieve e costante espansione disegnate con attenta misura da Uggeri, simbiosi che trova completamento in ricorrenti innesti di field recordings (in parte curati da Stefano De Ponti), inserti vocali e ulteriori contributi di viola e violoncello. È un flusso senza soluzione di continuità che attraversa istanti differenti scanditi da melodie sognanti ("Part I (time)", "Part III (slow)") che a tratti si sviluppano in modo più teso ed impetuoso ("Part II (east)", "Part VIII (west)") o più espanso e crepuscolare ("Part IV (ship)") e che sanno cedere il passo nei frangenti più narrativi dominati dalla voce e da modulazioni concrete e granulose ("Part V (grandma)", "Part VI (mud)", "Part VII (breath)"), fino a giungere alle luminose e rarefatte tessiture di "Part IX (beyond time)" che chiudono questa affascinante e malinconica peregrinazione elettro acustica capace di suggerire una nuova possibile declinazione ad un suono che frettolosamente ed erroneamente potrebbe definirsi folk.

Grey Sparkle


Sparkle in Grey

Matteo Uggeri

Matteo Uggeri

Sparkle in Grey

Matteo Uggeri

Moriremo Tutti Records