January 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Saffronkeira + Mario Massa – Cause and Effect

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Saffronkeira + Mario Massa
Cause and Effect
Denovali Records
Street: 11.29.13
Saffronkeira + Mario Massa = Max Richter + Pinkcourtesyphone
Sardinian electronic producer/composer Eugenio Caria (Saffronkeira) contacted trumpeter Mario Massa after seeing him perform on a regional television program, resulting in a fast friendship and extremely productive musical relationship. Massa’s contributions to Cause and Effect tend to be improvisational and meld very well with Caria’s compositions, which sonically tend more toward organic crackle than digital sheen. So many records with a concept or aesthetic similar to Cause and Effect’s end up sounding like background music for commercials advertising therapeutic pools—or what’s heard in the kinds of shops that sell nothing but new age self-help books and heart-shaped crystals in varying sizes. This album avoids most of those pitfalls. Caria and Massa have succeeded in creating a sequence of tracks that functions as a single volume, each supporting the other. “Umorale” is recommended for an idea of Cause and Effect’s general sound: intertwining melodies and drifting percussion traveling beside fluctuating drones and static elements. –T.H.
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