Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini 'Illusion Of Time' LP (Love Record Stores)
BEAR TREE RECORDS ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2020 #27
Renowned UK producer Daniel Avery and acclaimed experimental musician and Nine Inch Nails synth artist Alessandro Cortini's debut full-length collaboration, Illusion of Time.
To coincide with the announcement, the pair have shared a video for the album’s title track directed by Sam Davis and Tom Andrew, who has previously received two UK Music Video Awards nominations for his work with Avery. Speaking about the video, Andrew explains, “We were keen to capture a visual representation of the tempo and atmospheric emotion of the track and make a video exploring the notion of collaboration. A super-motion approach allowed us to explore details of motion shared between two people, in tactile actions of aiding and supporting.” Cortini adds, “The video embodies the volatility and hidden nature of the music’s subject and meaning. A meaning that is ultimately personal and unique the listener/spectator.”
Beginning as a collaborative experiment before the pair had even met, Avery and Cortini then worked remotely and free of concept or deadline over several years. The result, finally completed when both artists were touring with Nine Inch Nails in 2018, is a quietly powerful album rooted in trust, process and experimentation. The first fruits of their labour were unveiled last year when ‘Water’ and ‘Sun’ appeared online, subsequently released as a very limited 7” run that was sold at FYF Festival and Mount Analog in Los Angeles, and Phonica Records in London. Both tracks are included on the album.
“It was very much a shared process”, notes Avery. “I would like to credit Alessandro with his belief that music has a life of its own, as well as the importance he places on the first take... That even something that may be considered out-of-step by some should be respected. Some of the tracks were borne simply out of a tiny synth part, or a bit of tape hiss that we had recorded. And that approach taught me a lot. It’s a record that’s been worked on hard, but not laboured over.”
“I was a big fan of Daniel’s, and his work always spoke to me in a certain way,’’ explains Cortini. “Then, when we started working together, it just clicked. It’s very hard to explain, but I can always hear the love in his work, and that is true on this record. After our first collaboration, we just kept sending each other music and maintaining that dialogue. Next thing you know, we’re sitting in a hotel room in New York and had finished the record in three hours.”
The collaborative album follows Avery’s second record Song For Alpha, released in early 2018, and last year’s expanded edition B-sides & Remixes. Mixmag called the sophomore LP “A beautiful maturation of Avery’s work as a producer,” while The Guardian hailed its “Majestic, cavernous techno” and Loud & Quiet praised Avery as “A producer fast approaching the peak of his powers,” “This album cements Daniel Avery as one of the best,” wrote DIY. The London-based producer will perform at BBC Radio 3’s Unclassified Live on April 3rd, a new series of concerts in the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall presented by Unclassified host and presenter Elizabeth Alker and conducted by André de Ridder. Avery has also just been announced in the first wave of acts for London festivals Re-Textured and the inaugural Wide Awake, taking place in April and June respectively.
Cortini released his most recent solo album Volume Massimo on Mute in July 2019, following Fine, the Italian artist’s final album under his SONOIO alias, which came out the previous year. The Quietus called the former “an album that showcases just how much Cortini‘s aesthetic has developed since his early days,” while Exclaim! hailed it “a melodic exploration of textures and layers … an instrumental masterpiece that adds to an already incredible body of work by the gifted and skilled composer.”
Catalogue number: PHLP12