"...few albums have hit us as hard as Caterina Barbieri’s 70-minute opus, Patterns Of Consciousness. On her debut full-length, Barbieri commands tsunami-height waves of arpeggiated analog synths (...) a starry synth epic that spins ambient, kosmiche, noise and drone into one powerful statement of intent. In more ways than one, it was the very definition of an Important record“ (Miles Bowe, Fact Mag)
“Barbieri offsets mathematical precision with a haze of effects to summon a liminal zone where time stands still. You might expect an album like this to be impenetrable, but Barbieri makes deep listening sound effortless” (Scott Wilson, Fact Mag)
"...has an imperial, exacting beauty." (The Wire)
"It is extremely damn hard to establish a distinctive voice wielding only a synthesizer, but Barbieri has succeeded admirably at it. No one else sounds like this." (Brainwashed)
“In contrast with other types of drone music, Patterns Of Consciousness can seem as brightly coloured as a National Geographic photograph.” (Resident Advisor)
"Shows off her knack for compositional contortion, bending fibrous synth lines around one another in mammoth, labyrinthine braids, which breathe and collapse in swimming fractal-like arrangements." (Thump Vice)
"Patterns Of Consciousness finds Caterina at her best, elegantly moving between melodically pleasant yet twisted sequences and comforting, reassuring sonic spaces. Every piece, while given a singular identity, is part of the bigger picture: a work of art that will push you, pull you, and then eventually leave you with you back against the wall once you get to the last track, «gravity that binds».” Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails)
VERTICAL (TAPE, CASSAUNA 2014)
Vertical is Barbieri’s debut album (Important Records/Cassauna, 8 October 2014) composed for Buchla 200 system and voice. Vertical is a meditation on primary waveforms and the polyrhythm of harmonics in synthetic sounds, stretching the boundaries between drone, minimalism and techno. By employing synthesis, psychoacoustics and repetition as key concepts, the Italian composer draws severe geometries in time and space.
All tracks were played, recorded and produced in Stockholm (SE), at Elektronmusikstudion and the Royal University of Music) in summer 2013. Mixed in Bologna (IT). Vertical was reissued in February 2016.
Barbieri’s music “reveals the potential present in each singular tone - as well as the movement of a piece as a whole - to envelop the listener with little regard for linear time. Each sound is both a piece of a larger whole - an ever-fluctuating stream of techno-inflected minimalism - and a world unto itself, rich with texture and resonance that draws the listener in with a magnetic pull” (Adhoc Magazine)
PUNCTUM, REMOTE SENSING (LP, ∑ 2017 )
Punctum is a collaboration between Carlo Maria and Caterina Barbieri started in early 2016 during a residency at Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm and premiered at Nowhere Festival in Rome.
Their first album Remote Sensing was premiered at The Long Now 2017 in an extended set and released on ∑ in May 2017 (12'', ∑ 8).
Punctum takes an alien phenomenology approach to the naked sound of Roland TB303 and TR606, by stripping compositional tactics down to brutal minimalism. By means of reduction and subtraction, the iconic sound of the silver boxes is virtually projected into an ideal desert. Where extrinsic links are hard to grasp, the perception of the sound object itself is enhanced and refreshed, thus revealing uncharted territories of sonic investigation. Unified into an archetype of sonic purity, the high tech soul of the Roland machines coexists with a dimension of timeless acoustic phenomena such as resonance, reflection and reverberation.
“a moody, meticulous masterclass in Isolationist tekno and bombed-out braindance (...) It is in many ways a purist synth record - recorded at the storied EMS studio in Stockholm using a boffin's wishlist of 303s, 606s and Buchlas - but far from sounding cloistered and academic, it has a spiked, decadent, darkside/post-rave sensuality and dynamism that makes it stand out” (Low Company)
"303s, 606s and Buchlas dance around each other like an harmonic kaleidoscope. (...) It’s like a set of opening credits, or an tuning orchestra, setting the stage for something huge, before snaking away into the distance. Fitting then, this should be the opening for one of the most exciting records in recent memory. (Stray Landings)
UPPER GLOSSA, FUNDAMENT
Upper Glossa is the group consisting of Caterina Barbieri and Kali Malone (US).
This new project debuted at Berlin Atonal 2016 (in a version with light design by Doron Sadja) to massively positive critical acclaim, with The Wire picking out the performance as a festival highlight and describing it as “a trip deep within the mothership – hypnotic and beautifully disorientating”.
Developed between Sweden and Italy, their piece Fundament is a composition for electric guitars and analog synthesizers inspired by additive patterns, canon and overtone-centered harmony. It’s vigorous and minimalist dexterity exudes a severe and tragic sound hailing from the pythagorean region of the harmonic spectrum."
"...shoegaze walls of sound slowly shifting into dark guitar washes/echoes, which finally give way to synth lullabies, building the melancholy melodic patterns of monotonous beauty" (Secret Thirteen)
“The Swedish/Italian duo Upper Glossa transformed the space into a world of overlapping, long range guitar and string drones, over buzzing and stacking synthesiser patterns, and lights swooping overheads in patterns resembling a runway, or a swarm of bees, or a trip deep within the mothership – hypnotic and beautifully disorientating”. (The Wire)
"The duo masterfully sculpted minimal Roland synthesiser arpeggios, processed guitar with a discerning use of textures that bound a singular and focused composition. Fundament was a commanding, no-messing-about mediation on tone and subtle textures accompanied by Sadja’s liminal, pastel fragments that bled across the gargantuan vertical projection screen settling the expectant crowd" (Cyclic Defrost)
GLORY (Tape, XKatedral 2016)
Glory is a piece by Caterina Barbieri and Kali Malone (US) for electric guitars and spectral freeze inspired by polytempic canons, modality and overtone-centered harmony.It’s vigorous and pristine minimalism exudes a severe sound that pours monumental landscapes of bliss from the pythagorean region of the harmonic spectrum and contradicts the current aesthetic fetishism of darkness and post-modern suffering rather focusing on the utter power of consonance and sound for the sake of perceptual insight. A section of Glory was released on XKatedral (XKatedral, Volume III, Tape) in October 2016.
"Malone and Barbieri’s “Glory” kicks off with an esoteric Americana feel. Slowly evolving guitar loops transfer one into a very cinematic hypnotic state, an imaginary gothic townscape appearing in the desert horizon. Just as the previous compilation, “Glory” is astonishing in its details, soundscapes circulating around the main melodic line, crawling beneath it." (Secret Thirteen)