Cravagoide is a duo from Italy comprised of Marco Pizzamiglio and Pierpaolo Sala. On their recent release Empty Frame they combine stylistic components from Boards of Canada and Sigur Rós and make a magnificent cocktail of original electronic compositions. Take hard hitting beats of Boards of Canada and replace the alien, ominous atmosphere they are known for with the ethereal, angelic sound of Sigur Rós and you should have a decent idea of what Cravagoide brings to the table.
Empty Frame combines movement with emotions and sounds with sensations as the waveforms paint pictures in your mind. Most of the songs have a reflective quality but never remain stagnant in grandeur. The nostalgia moves forward, back and behind but avoids feeling contrived.
The album opens with “Vmap” in which anyone familiar with Boards of Canada and Sigur Rós should notice the comparison I was referring to earlier. Nonetheless, “Vmap” is still tranquil, serene and kinetic. The song can be split into two parts. It starts with soft piano, atmospheric pads and subtle kick drums. It begins to shift in tone and texture and around two-and-a-half minutes pours Postal Service type beats with some of the production you would expect from Boards of Canada.
After the first track I was hoping the rest of the album was going to be as strong and wasn’t disappointed. “Try” splices up vocal samples with heavy beats and warm pads. There’s a good amount of things happening but the song still feels like it has tons of space. Some songs like “Lost Cable” are dance worthy numbers you can imagine placing at the hippest club in the city while “B without A” is an emotionally resonant piece that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
A personal highlight was “Mosphere” which was a glitch heavy song that reminded of Mum. The nuances in this song make headphones a necessity. It delivers upon what the duo does best as it marries kinetic movement with an emotional foundation.
Empty Frame works not only on a song-by-song basis but also as a cohesive album. The duo didn’t over do it with track count and every song is different but connects to the overall themes, sounds and textures. Highly Recommended.
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