“Tuncratio” is the intensely creative, genre-blending solo project of Manfredi Pellitteri, who combines elements of art rock, metal, and electronica. Some of their influences include Smashing Pumpkins, Mogwai, Deftones, Sigur Ros, and Röyksopp. Self-producing and playing all the instruments himself, Pellitteri’s all-around adeptness really comes through on his most recent five-track EP, “Elephant in the room” (18:41 runtime), which is purely instrumental except for “Trompe l’oeil,” featuring the distinctive, Björk-like voice of the artist Eleze.
“Elephant in the room (Intro)” begins with a solo synth playing a warm phrase on loop. Other instruments and electronic sounds follow en suite, building upon the framework of the looped synth and creating a symphonic texture. At 0:18 a gentle acoustic guitar breaks through the waves of electronica in welcome contrast. Every time that the looped solo synth repeats (every six seconds), an additional instrument is brought in so that the song rapidly expands – it’s a very creative way to construct a composition and intensely enjoyable to listen to. For everything that follows 0:06 is derived from the source (the solo synth in this case), and so there’s a continual stream of new instrumental tones but they’re all hyperlinked. In order of appearance: synth, vibraphone, some kind of bell sound or field recording, acoustic guitar, a mellow but distorted electric guitar, and a clean electric guitar.
The first 1:04 of “Cats killed curiosity” has a looped mixture of one blissful electric guitar strumming the same chord with a chordal progression at the climactic moment right before the loop resets, and another equally dreamy guitar picking out a gorgeously slow melody. Drums come in at 0:13 for the loops climax and continue sparsely on in-between climaxes. At 1:05 a darker electric guitar plays the once dreamy guitars part but faster. At 2:18 a twangy bass further darkens the mood and ten seconds later a distorted and noisy electric guitar starts playing a descending pattern when yet another, noisier guitar, which is playing the opening part of the once blissful guitar strum, adds to the increasingly pent-up explosiveness. At 2:54 a heavy guitar riff blows up and repeats until 3:38 and the same riff is then carried by a clean, warm bass with no other instrumentation remaining.
The intro of “Trompe l’oeil” recalls Deftones intro on “Cherry Waves”, beginning with a slow and steady beat, a guitar that alternates between two single notes, a simple piano melody, and a glockenspiel. These all carry over and into 0:43 as a strummed acoustic guitar comes front and center, along with a bass and the vocals. The lyrics revolve around the French term “tromp l’oeil”, which describes a visual deception, especially in paintings, in which objects are rendered in extremely fine detail emphasizing the illusion of tactile and spatial qualities. Eleze sings, “You say you can do anything in your life / That’s fine, but you can’t hurt me all the time / It’s like we never catch the right moon / When I was much more starving than you / I’m like a fountain, I need some waterfalls / I’m like that tower, made of ancient love”. It’s an extremely well crafted song that’s absolutely delectable to the ears, as is the entire EP.
Tuncratio has released two albums (Hyperspace, 2007 – Heavy Rain, 2021), two collections (Selected old works, 2018 – Selected old tracks, 2018), and they are expecting a new album in late 2023. Make sure to follow them on their social and streaming platforms to be notified of future releases!
Stream and follow Tuncratio on Spotify and Apple Music
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