Cinema Show

The last time I reviewed Adern X, it was about the release "Ink spots called words", a collection of tracks recorded during the 2007/2012 time span. With "Cinema Show", Andrea Piran, is back with a new album recorded in collaboration with a well known sound tweaker called Tiziano Milani. The concept behind this album deals with the dependence of images and sounds on a movie and the way to enjoy it in different environments. They recorded their sound sources at the movies and then edited it to make it sound, as they say, like a "soundtrack of an imaginary expressionist movie or as an experimental form of synphonic poem". The release is divided into five different movements where noises we are kinda used to, morph into a disturbing sound collage that sometimes turn into a dreamy reversed orchestra, then into a pulsating signal from a distant galaxy and then into a cacophonic wall that melts into tiny melodies now and then. This isn't exactly my cup of tea but I appreciated the feeling and the concept of the release and I think that this is what these sounds were made for...

Review by: Maurizio Pustianaz (

Cinema Show

The press release for “Cinema Show”, the new album from Italian artists Adern X and Tiziano Milani, makes an interesting claim: that “electroacoustic music is influenced by the theory of cinematographic editing”. This perhaps makes sense when one considers that for much of their respective histories cinema and music were both recorded to reels of film or tape which could be manipulated through cutting, splicing, and duplicating. This kinship undoubtedly persists today, as evidenced by the similarities between contemporary video and audio editing software. From the early experiments of German artists such as Walter Ruttman and Hans Richter to the blockbuster scores and album tie-ins of modern Hollywood, sound has always been either a second-class citizen of cinema or its secret guiding hand, depending on which version of the sound-image hierarchy one subscribes to. “Cinema Show” addresses this hierarchy directly, taking as its starting point a number of field recordings made in a cinema. Through the careful manipulation and supplementation of these recordings, a number of themes are brought to mind.

Most immediately apparent are the glitches — stutters, crackles, and pops, the fading in and out of sound as if it were being played back from an old tape, the vague impression of a dialogue or a symphonic soundtrack. Glitches are reminders of the materiality of sounds themselves and the processes by which they occur; they puncture the auratic illusion created by narrative and special effects, reminding the audience that what they see and hear has been produced with the intention of eliciting a specific response. In a sense, glitches are vehicles for the alienation effect by which playwright and theatre director Bertolt Brecht, a contemporary of Ruttman and Richter, sought to activate audience members’ critical faculties through the clear demonstration of the fact that what they see and hear is an artifice. But if “Cinema Show” aspires to such didacticism, such aims are not clear from the music itself; rather, the album’s detachment from the image of cinema’s soundtrack has the effect of drawing attention to the specificity of the cinema as an environment. The two artists have worked their source material into a form that mimics the experience of being in the cinematic space, in which one is both immersed in sound and light yet at the same time held at a distance from the screen: a wide spectral distribution and soft, hazy timbres produce immersion, while glitch, indeterminateness, and quiet volumes effect the distancing.

To leave it at that would perhaps only re-confirm the servitude of sound to the absent image, but X and Milani choose to let the music drift far from its origins in the audiovisual and develop a voice and character of its own. Indeed, I felt no pressure to identify the source of any given sound; if the form of the music evokes the structure of cinematic space, then its comprising sounds are nonetheless able to express a high degree of independence. This made me wonder whether sound always inevitably exceeds its representational function to some extent — while “Cinema Show” clearly evokes the atmosphere of its eponymous environment, it is perfectly enjoyable without considering such significations. Still, it is pleasing to hear artists exploring the interactions between sounds and their environmental contexts in so insightful a manner, and even more so for the fact that these insights are made through such engaging and refreshingly non-nostalgic music. “Cinema Show” is on limited CD-R and download release through X’s own label Xevor, and is well worth tracking down

Review by: Nathan Thomas (

Ink Spots called Words

Schegge noisy per substrati sonori contenuti, manipolazioni della material suono vissuti con frequenti ovatte non estreme, la sperimentazione di Andrea Piran rimane tra pareti di persuasione subliminale e percezioni didascaliche dark-industriali generate dall’uso dei synth e di un’espansione del suono basato sulle modulazioni di frequenze, senza tralasciare aspetti molto interessanti nella composizione di richiamo classico contemporaneo.

Il rilascio è tramite file digitale o Cd in tiratura limitata, a voi la scelta …

Tremolante poi concreta la musica in apertura, “8.VII”, è una suite a tutti gli effetti, moderna e mistica, quel sottile misticismo post-industriale creat per cattedrali d’acciaio e specchi, vuote, abbandonate al loro destino, l’Uomo non è più né artefice né soggetto della vita inerte.

Singulti prima del noise ruvido, abrasioni che in “Object.Petal” amplificano la gamma del white-noise di disturbo, in “Wave (Void)” implodono in modulazioni sequenziali, frequenze vuote alla ricerca di un segnale di vita, di esistenza utopica, in “Drowned Travel” divengono silenzi cupi, forme sorde di larve sonore in evoluzione tra echi vocali di comunità alienate ed alienanti.

Una sequenza di track devastanti ed aggressive, virus di note che s’insinuano nel sottocute, poi l’abbandono estatico …

Nelle note dolenti di piano cresce “67”, in sottofondo piccoli glitch confondenti registrazioni ambientali per creare un soundscape di materia ora viva, improvvisamente viva, solitaria tra loop, meditativa e subconscia, eterea in “Teorie”: ancora ottantotto tasti (concentrati sulle tonalità più basse … ) ‘sporcati’ da percezioni di vita altrove, forse post-mortem, forse medianiche, forse mentali ed espresse nella musica.

Il finale dedicato all’amalgama sonica, le sensazione di vita si perde tra immagini extra-dimensionali perse nelle frequenze disturbate, “Ink Spot Called Words” si spegne progressivo con la stessa facilità con cui si può spegnere una vecchia radio d’epoca lasciando raffreddare le valvole, abbandonando le onde e le frequenze all’etere.

Review by: Nicola Tenani (

Cinema Show

An odd place to tape your field recordings, but why not? The cinema! "The source material for this release is a bunch of field recordings made in a cinema as electroacoustic music is influenced by the theory of editing of cinematography", it says on the cover, which seems to me a rather bold statement. Not mentioned is which movie Adern X and Tiziano Milani actually went to. Or movies perhaps? Both of these artists are known, to some extend, for using electronics in their work, mostly laptop, but also mentioned here are 'loop, SW radio, digital manipulation, concrete'. As said, it's very hard to recognize any movie sound track here, or the chewing of pop corn for all we know, although maybe in the first piece, the entrance of the viewers might have been used as a sound source, but otherwise it's also not easy to relate this to the world of cinema and "theory of editing of cinematography". If all, there isn't much editing as such, in these four lengthy and one shorter piece of ambient like electronics, this warm mass of glitch sounds. Here the pieces gentle flow about in the best microsound ambient glitch tradition. If anything, the slow movie is celebrated in these five pieces, painting in technicolor tones, hazy, blurry, abstract even but nevertheless telling a nice story. Nothing spectacular, but surely a more than pleasant release.

Review by: Frans de Waard (

Ink Spots called Words



Adern X is the nom de guerre of Andrea Piran, who benevolently pointed me towards two of his creatures – 2011′s Polaroid and 2012′s Ink Spots Called Words – in which he deals with computerized modifications of antecedent sources. The material’s extent mainly encompasses processed field recordings and manipulated/reassembled samples. Piran is deeply involved in the development of a sub-metropolitan poetry of sorts inside these treatments, letting us visualize barren landscapes and melancholic flashes in an electroacoustic craquelè that leaves no space to immoderate irony or manifest fun. This is to say that the man appears as a serious operator, not someone who limits the scope of “creativity” to gathering a hundred splinters and meshing it nonchalantly to generate chaotic diversions. There is a noticeable search for the recondite implications of cyclical reiteration, and also a definite inclination to framing the unhappy factor springing out of antediluvian idealism into contemporary settings without carbon copies of other people’s glories (you know what we mean, when decaying loops are concerned; but there’s no authentic risk of plagiarism in this case). Most of all, Adern X’s conceptions seem entirely taken by a process-to-valid-result, A-to-B logic that should ideally represent the foundation of the finest consequences in current computer music, with over-average humanity for good measure. Sporadically, the acoustic appearance might not be enthralling. But the aroma of a total commitment to the “communication” of something important is clearly perceptible.

That said, Polaroid was generated from two lengthy portions of previously occurred live performances, whereas the beautifully titled Ink Spots Called Words collects tracks that were released from 2007 to 2012 on various compilations and projects. Although the obvious differences in atmospheres and core substances render the outcome rather uneven, the coherence that unifies this pair of statements is evident (they even share a few segments). Amidst the growing tensions and the everyday routines symbolized by some of the episodes, Piran always tries to find methods to let us stop and reflect on what we’re listening to. And – please take note – the listening act means “concentration”. Don’t let the ceaseless machine-like rhythms (occasionally recalling Esplendor Geometrico) and the extreme vocal cut-ups fool you into thinking about an asinine potpourri. The wholeness of the combined shapes, the nearly grotesque resonance of certain fragments, the peculiarly emotional aspects of the “smoother” pieces; all of the above contributes to magnify the details of extremely specific macrocosms where introspection, neurosis and – ultimately – the release of copious doses of dynamic energy weigh the same. I cannot guarantee that you will consider everything adorable but – sure enough – the immediately discernible identity of Adern X’s sonic fauna is a feature that not many Italians can expose, for in this depressing country the preference usually goes to striding along the beaten paths of imitation/modeling, whatever the ambit. At the end of the day, Piran is a reasoning human specimen, and those thoughts translate into challenging and often truly dazzling music.

Review by: Massimo Ricci (

Ink Spots called Words

Behind Adern X is Andrea Piran, a sound artist who works in the experimental electronic field. He has released in several netlabels and on his own label Xevor.
This CD-R gathers tracks that he has done in his career and in live performances, videos, etc.
Piran improvises countless samples through sound design overlapping layers alongwith digital noise, voices, field recordings, piano notes, all processed and reconstructed.
Adern X proposes soundscapes with disturbing and at the same sedate atmospheres.

Review by: Guillermo Escudero (

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