Artist: Sergio Castelletto
Title: Psycotic Distortion
Keywords: Free Jazz, Lo-Fi, Experimental
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Because I ❤ you, here’s another excellent album by Sergio Castelletto. It’s free jazz in more ways than one and features Sergio on drums and sax, accompanied by Andrea Cervesato on the drums and guitar.
‘Psycotic Distortion’ comes on like a drone from out of a poorly lit bar and it’s as if we’re listening to distorted amplifier fuzz. Throbbing bass tones, random assortments of frequencies, what sounds like a flute. Already it is trance-inducing, particularly in my slightly intoxicated mood. It’s like a wall of wind instruments crushed by distortion and low fidelity recording equipment. Strangely beautiful and melodic, however. I’m enjoying the basic tug between the high-octave sounds and drums, all like various layers of feedback. I hear some strange sounds now, very much like metal being struck. The rhythms are beginning to change, the high pitches becoming more intense in their wild oscillations. Erratic effects on a guitar begin to get really unusual. The drum starts then in a hypnotic 4/4 march as a sonic force of multiple timbres dirges on. Harsh bits of sax bellow forth; underneath is an harmonic abstraction sounding like a rotary organ. Severe arpeggios, heavy stomping drums, sustained feedback. Then, we are left with simply the distorted signals and the drums almost fade but quickly come back up in volume. It sounds for a bit like someone is shredding the guitar strings… echos of feedback and inconspicuous noises make up this next portion of the track. Low mid throbs, throttled and distorted guitar, frustrated saxophone like a voice, rushed to explain an absurd circumstance. The saxophone mostly calms, begins to speak more slowly, but is still very random in pitch. The drum beats a path into the mix. It sounds like there’s a bird loose, too! Now I feel as if I’m riding in a bumpy caravan through the desert. Strange sound effects, a phaser or something, soars over us. A distortion is arriving. Maybe we have been traveling through the heat and sand to arrive at an alien city of dust, built by Martians? The saxophone is speaking to someone again… perhaps he is the sultan of sax? We’re tumbling off the caravan with the drums now… after some thrashing around, there’s almost a drum roll and then an explosion of wild jazz sounds. Then we come to a section with saxophone and ride cymbals, occasional snare hits, hi-hats. 4/4 disco beat? Wasn’t expecting that in the last 4 minutes! For a minute I was starting to get a vibe of New Orleans, Mardi Gras. Then there’s some cowbell in the sudden downtempo turn the rhythm takes.
Experiencing this is like experiencing simultaneously every drunken concert you’ve ever attended with poor sound and technical issues. Very enjoyable and weird! Should I put a link down below? Ok. Here you go: