Switched On – Indian Wells: No One Really Listens To Oscillators (Mesh)

Reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Pietro Iannuzzi’s latest album as Indian Wells may have a humorous title, inspired by a fit of pique while working in the studio, but it contains music of much greater personal meaning.

His concept with the album was to reflect the fact that it is possible to grow up around half-finished buildings that become a part of the landscape without anybody noticing – and that this leads to a distorted reality, that we very quickly become accustomed to.

What’s the music like?

Multilayered and compelling. The distortion Iannuzzi refers to can be felt immediately on the first track, An escalator in a storm (Incomputio Part I), where voices and snatches of sound flit across the picture of what would otherwise have been the serene progress of slow moving musical figures.

Life of JS (Incomputio Part II) has a deeply personal resonance, written about his daughter who was born in early lockdown and found to have Down Syndrome. Research around the condition lead him to the American artist Judith Scott, a self-declared ‘unfinished’ person – and who is the dedicatee of this beautifully cloudy music, with its twists and swirls. Iannuzzi’s daughter also inspired Before Life, the closing track, which starts with a recording of her foetal heartbeat and grows into a really impressive and emotive piece of work, the choice cut on the album.

Elsewhere the music is shot through with movement and positive kinetic energy. Four Walls bubbles and flickers in the half light, while Against Numbers uses its glitchy beats and motifs in a thought provoking way while also cutting loose with white noise.

The title track progresses with a stately poise, the oscillations holding up well! – while Habitat also enjoys wide-ranging squiggles before kicking into a more conventional four to the floor rhythm. Calabrian Woods breaks into this area too, retreating to a warning motto over soft keyboard pads before launching into a full breakout.

Does it all work?

Yes – each track works well in isolation but the album works best when experienced in one setting, with a very satisfying ebb and flow.

Is it recommended?

Yes. Anyone who has enjoyed the music of Max Cooper will surely warm to the music of his labelmate, whose personal experiences bring deeper meaning to this thoughtful but ultimately positive music.

Listen

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