Valentina Magaletti & Julian Sartorius

Sulla Pelle

BY Peter BoulosPublished Aug 30, 2019

It takes a certain level of guile for a record label to expand its scope while remaining true to the initial intention. Initially beginning as an emotive electronic outlet, Ali Safi's Marionette has expanded to electroacoustic-isms in recent times. On Sulla Pelle we have somewhat of a change of pace, with a pair of experimental drummers in Julian Sartorius and Valentina Magaletti delivering their debut for the label. Accomplished in their own rights, together they deliver music with synchronicity that would make an 808 envious.
Chaotic and complex, the pair deliver an expertly crafted quartet of stuttering compositions on the EP. "Sobaka" begins as a quiet shuffle, eventually growing cacophonous and propulsive as per proceedings before retreating back into soft skittering. It's an effective demonstration of storytelling without relying on melodic counterpoint. On the titular "Sulla Pelle," things start as a march before delving into more uncharted territory. The pair play off of one another as they strike surfaces of unorthodox origin, while the occasional dubbed tonic lazily echoes in the background. The overall effect is enthralling, but above all, unpredictable.
"Tre Porte" features the strongest resemblance to electronica on the record, with amplified distortion hanging behind the ricocheting metre. By the time "Micro Tormento" arrives, we've come to know what to expect. The duo deliver percussive intrigue with great effect, this time with the added twang of a discordant string repetitions. It all sounds as though the sessions were done in live takes, with the haphazardness of it all translated to the final record.
Sulla Pelle carries the greatest of intrigue across its four tracks, but one gets the sense that more variation between the four tracks may have improved an already strong sonic footprint. Still, it is very doubtful that many others can craft music as Magaletti and Sartorius have done here, and for that reason alone it is well worth an attentive ear.

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