I tend to think of these sorts of compositions as being painstakingly put together. After all, it’s not by accident that field recordings are threaded together so seamlessly, with bustling streets evaporating into open beaches which, in turn, melt in heavy downpours in forests, the colours emboldened – gently, unintrusively – by faint traces of vaporous electronics. Yet Balloni manages to generate a certain spontaneity to the way the terrain transforms and cross-fades, seemingly at the behest of wayward trails of thought. He wanders between recordings as though in blind pursuit of tangents of memory, allowing sounds to trigger the recollection of others, faithfully traversing undulations in mood and U-turns in chronology.
For the most part, there’s a daydreamer’s hue to the composition’s images and overall flow. Some soundscapes emerge in blurry fidelity, laxly remembered in half-sleep, as reverberant whistles conjure both the jeers of owls and the distant wail of machinery in friction. Traces of musicality swell into pools of drone and then drain away, held loosely in cupped hands and permitted to spill out between the fingers. Given that the record combines recordings made both in Tokyo and in the countryside by Balloni’s studio in Teramo, Italy, it’s remarkable that I’m never jolted to attention by the sudden overturn in landscape, oblivious to how the rainfall hardens into the sounds of wheels on tarmac, mistaking the chirp of city conversation for the babble of birdsong. Strangely, this ambiguous presentation of soundscape only spurs me to listen with greater intensity, my focus heightened by the booms and rustles that bleed across both urban and rural terrain.