CROMO · Second collaborative work between
Bruno Sanfilippo & Mathias Grassow

Recorded at Onix Studio, Barcelona
and at Akroasis Studio, Wiebaden, 2010
Cover photo by Bruno Sanfilippo
CD released by ad21 ad112
R
elease date: 8 April 2010

Also available digitally from: Bandcamp




 

 



CD €13.00

INCLUDE SHIPPING

Also in combo Packs CDs




REVIEWS CROMO

 

by rik · ping things
Have I ever had anything bad to say about Bruno Sanfilippo? I don't think so. I've enjoyed all of his releases over the last few years, and I'm quite sure that he gets better with every disc that comes out. Which brings me to his latest collaborative work with Mathias Grassow, "Cromo", an excellent follow up to their earlier disc "Ambessence Piano and Drones". Like it's predecessor, "Cromo" uses processed piano and deep drones combined with a few sparse elements to create very appealing and satisfying aural environments. It's a fine example of artists working together and it shouldn't surprise anyone that I think it's brilliant.
"Cromo Piano & Drones 1" begins the disc with a steady drone that plays throughout the track. A familiar piano melody floats into the track, bringing to mind previous work from Sanfilippo, moving the piece along in a slowly flowing stream. It's a subtle piece, a beautiful example of the work that Sanfilippo and Grassow do together, and a wonderful introduction to the rest of the disc.
"Cromo Piano & Drones 2" follows, a deep warm drone paired with sparse piano to add colour to the soundfield. For this track the drone provides a sense of movement rather than Sanfilippo's piano playing, making for an interesting shift in sonic dynamics. The end result is a very nicely enveloping musical space, a very appealing environment for the listener.
"Cromo Piano & Drones 3" has an air of mystery about it, a feeling of urgency and fear that permeates the track to it's core. It's an interesting use of sonics, as the root drone in the track is able to convey a strong sense of expansion and development, and of tension and movement despite minimal shifts in tone. A really great example of soundshaping from two masters of the art.
"Cromo Piano & Drones 4" starts with an oscillating drone, a spiraling sound that weaves throughout the soundfield. It works nicely on a primal level, evoking an emotional response in the listener as it continues. The track slowly builds and sounds shift in a fluid way as time passes, with more effected elements added to the mix, moving the soundscape from a natural state to a haunted automated place. Impressive.
"Cromo Piano & Drones 5" pairs a steady drone with unprocessed piano resulting in a wonderfully thick space-y track where tones twinkle and shimmer beautifully. As time passes the track eventually turns inward, shifting from outer space to inner space, eventually breaking down into a subtle and sparse environment deep with emotion. Probably my favorite track on the disc.
"Cromo Piano & Drones 6" employs deep, dark piano chords, a somber minor key melody laying the groundwork for a larger piece. A thick bass-y drone fills out the space of the song and as time progresses moods shift and sounds become more expressive. A lovely track to end the disc.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm quite fond of "Cromo", indeed I think it stands up as some of the best work I've heard form Sanfilippo and Grassow, both collaboratively and as solo artists. You owe it to yourself to check this one out, whether you're a long-time fan of either artist or you're new to either of their work. Certainly one of my favorite releases of the year so far.


by Richard Gürtler

Argentinian ambient/modern classical composer Bruno Sanfilippo (based in Barcelona) has teamed up with German drone master Mathias Grassow for their already second collaboration entitled "CROMO [Piano & Drones]".
I really respect both these artists and I am always pleased by collaborations like this, they can be only fruitful and "CROMO" is no exception.
So what they are bringing to the table? As usual for Mathias, he is coming with his typical and trademarking subtle walls of drones, smoothly
and gracefully floating on the background while Bruno is adding some fragile and intimate piano sounds to the front.
This blend works together more than efficiently, it's very compact, personal and relaxing.
It's evident in the first of six untitled pieces, with Bruno's absolutely beautiful piano melodies, while Mathias is backing up with distant and continous drones. What a journey! The next composition brings both artists on the same level, drones are more monumental and expansive and piano is less transparent, very enjoyable too. In the next composition Bruno adds more gradual tension and movement in his piano,
certainly one of the best pieces on the album. Also the next composition is quite dramatical and monumentally drifting with more leveled parts of both musicians. Finger mastery of Bruno again steps into the fore on the next one, this is probably the most emotional composition on "CROMO" and another highlight with skillfully balanced piano and drones.
The closing, over 19 minutes long, piece is comprised of slowly evolving passages and immense sonic walls with deeply immersed piano.
Very dark, but absolutely beautiful travel. "CROMO", with delicately crafted acoustics and electronics, is another highly recommended work
of both these masters!!!

 

by Matt Howarth · Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2010 offers 62 minutes of ambient piano music.
Delicate piano melodies blend with controlled drones to produce tuneage of a highly relaxing nature.
Sanfilippo settles down and lets his fingers caress the ivories, coaxing forth languid chords that sinuously undulate into soothing melodies.
The music is soft and personal, drawing the listener into a realm of crisp piano expressions which incite pleasant moods.
The songs are restrained and consist mainly of gentle notes that glisten as they drift on the air.
Meanwhile Grassow applies crafted drones to the melodies, generating layers of atmospheric moodiness which hangs shimmering in the background. These texturals enhance the traditional piano melodies with their ethereal embellishment, flavoring the recital medium with the modern touch of tenuous electronics.
The last track is a long one, allowing the music to unfurl at a calm pace and gradually evolve into variations of gentle character.
These compositions achieve a lovely temperament, combining classical keyboards with electronic enhancement in a very tender manner.
An introspective disposition is created that seeps into the listener's cortex and smoothes the cerebral folds into a mental landscape of high serenity.

 

by John Shanahan · hypnagogue.netfirms.com
My appreciation for Bruno Sanfilippo's music has grown over his past few releases. First he caught my ear with the spacey constructs of Auralspace; then he deftly blended beautiful piano melodies with understated electronics on Piano Textures 2. Now, teaming up with renowned ambient artist Matthias Grassow, he brings the feel of those two discs together perfectly—and elevates it—in CROMO.
In these six untitled tracks, Sanfilippo and Grassow maneuver deftly around each other in a set of perfect dances.
The balance is superb, with neither element overpowering the other. There is rise and fall, movement and stillness.
Empty spaces are gracefully filled by sounds that flow into the moment at the right moment.
As always, Sanfilippo's piano playing is patient, notes hanging and hovering, quietly describing the emotional stories here.
Grassow's drones work their way from dust-in-sunlight glimmers to dark-spin drifts—his creations in Track 4 have such a distinct Steve Roach feel
I had to check my iPod to see if I'd moved on to another CD! This is a disc I gladly put on repeat for low-volume looping, and which is absolutely fulfilling when given a deep, attentive listen. CROMO piano & drones is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

 

by Paul Jury · Morpheus Music
STYLE: Delicate Steinway Old Lady Grand Piano impressions and subtle, air-filled drones. Mathias Grassow lays down a series of gossamer drone textures reminiscent of distant fogs - hazy, grey beds of transparent tone with shifting densities that seep into the consciousness softening the atmosphere, drenching the soundscape. These electronic formations at times recede and hang in the background allowing Bruno Sanfilippo's piano work to dominate, but in other places they well up and fill the senses becoming dense, intense, engrossing. The piano parts are achingly beautiful and melodic on some tracks - sparse, unhurried developments that seem to pour straight from the heart of the player.
There are also darker passages of finger runs looming from the relative stillness of the synths. Sometimes the ivories sink deep within the mists, reverberating gently, becoming a part of the air or are so heavily effected as to merge with the backdrop.

ARTWORK: CROMO is a jewel case presentation with a fold-out insert. Cover art is all comprised of soft shades of grey with abstract light patterns arcing and streaking the surface. The front cover holds a central image between broad bands of grey and simple titles. On the back the tracks are listed against respective times. The sleeve insert opens out to reveal a page of credits and a gear list for both Grassow and Sanfilippo. Here too are web site details and contact information.
The innermost double page spread is given over to a glassy abstraction in grey with the legend CROMO = Cr as the only text.

OVERALL: CROMO [piano & drones] is the latest collaboration from Bruno Sanfilippo and Mathias Grassow released via Bruno's own ad21music label. The album follows up the highly respected Ambessence: Piano and Drones album of 2008 (also reviewed at Morpheus Music). This current work delivers six mesmerising compositions ranging in length from just over seven minutes to the powerful nineteen minute nineteen second conclusion - sixty two minutes in total. The melancholy grace of the first release is once again present but this time there is a darker tone tugging at the music a dramatic sense of anticipation.

 

by Bert Strolemberg · Sonicimmersion
For this work of art, Mr Sanfilippo and Mr Grassow have teamed up a second time, together creating a smooth and quiet sonic soundscape to follow-up their critically acclaimed “Ambessence”. The six “chapters” on “CROMO” offer 62 minutes of intimate soundings which sees a precise interplay of Bruno’s Old Lady Grand Piano and Mathias vast, transparent and fluid drone tapestries.
The outcome is delicate, sensitive, glacial and hypnotizing, a slow drift with a soothing, mesmerizing effect.
My personal highlights are the vast spaces explored on the third and fifth installment, which both reach out to a grand design of things.
Yes, “Cromo” once more truely illustrates the label’s vision that instrumental music can lead the soul into a state of sacred intimacy.
Chapeau, Mathias and Bruno.
Next to digital download formats from MusicZeit, the album is also available as factory-pressed cd from the label.

 

by Roberto Vales · A Ultima Fronteira
Estamos ante la nueva colaboración de Bruno Sanfilippo y Mathias Grassow, dos nombres que no necesitan ningún tipo de presentación, dos músicos capaz de trasladarnos con sus composiciones al interior de nuestro ser, a las profundidades de la naturaleza o lo más profundo del espacio.
Publicado por el sello ad21music , Bruno se vuelve a sentar detrás de esa maravilla llamada Steinway Old Lady Grand Piano y sus notas nos vuelven a sumergir en esos paisajes íntimos y profundos que de forma tan espectacular es capaz de recrear, Mathias se encarga de los drones para reforzar el sentimiento y la profundidad de la música de Bruno.
"Cromo [piano & drones]" son seis composiciones, seis temas de belleza lírica, de sonidos íntimos y transparentes, de sonidos envolventes,
que nos van atrapando a lo largo de los 62 minutos que dura este trabajo.
"Cromo [piano & drones]" es un trabajo de piano y drones, el propio título lo indica, de la mano de dos maestros que nos tienen acostumbrados a llevarnos por su terreno con su música y que en esta ocasión lo han vuelto a hacer, aportando profundidad y brillantez a unos temas, que cada vez que los escuchas, quieres volver a escucharlos para seguir descubriendo cosas nuevas, nuevos sonidos, nuevas sensaciones, nuevas maravillas...