Baldino

Hm, the album art for Baldino, by Baldino, is a bit scary. I'm not sure if this person is a vampire or a cannibal, but either way, I'm just going to ignore her hush signal and try to get some help in here!

Hm, the album art for Baldino, by Baldino, is a bit scary. I’m not sure if this person is a vampire or a cannibal, but either way, I’m just going to ignore her hush signal and try to get some help in here!

Artist: Baldino
Title: Baldino
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0380
Keywords: Techno, Acid, Big Beat
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Hey, you! Glad you could make it, because I was just thinking to myself, “Gee, it sure would be nice if I were writing another one of the Noise-Joy reviews and there happened to be someone reading at that moment.”

And, well, here we are.

This review is for an Italian artist who sent me a bunch of extended dance material back in good old ’07, under the moniker of Baldino, and expressing that this music was BIG BEAT!!! He must have read the Big Beat Manifesto.

"Big beats are the best, get high all the time."

“Big beats are the best, get high all the time.”

It begins with ‘SHALL I OPEN THE WINDOW’, zooming in like a massive aircraft. Quickly developing snap/pop drum groove, alien glitter, throttling bandpass synth sounds, a 4/4 bass kick. It doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere for a while, just taking you along for a bumpy ride through something sort of like contained space. There’s a bass bwop, some additional shuffling around of the texture, witches on the wind screeching by. The bass wobbles around, the sound effects — like that cash register clink sound — get more full in a place once or twice. The atmosphere starts to expand, and there is a hail of computer beeps melodies. Suddenly, a bit more synth… this is a very smooth track, with lots of complexities, taking a gradual, trance-inducing approach to the way it is built, without any major crescendos or breakdowns, just perpetual motion. Well, I said that, and then there was totally a breakdown. I could adjust myself to that, but nah, I’ll just leave it. 🙂 Anyway, now we’re back to the foundation, the groove, coming toward the end of the track, with those electronic alien noises making up the whole of the atmosphere.

After that, ‘JULIETTE’ kicks in with an unsteady, waspy synth, and some spinning throttled noise. Bird sequence chirps, there are some rides, and then the groove kicks in! These are some pretty big beats, but we’re grown ups, so I think we can handle it. That massive LFO oscillation gets some filtering, and underlying sequences are moving around all over… the groove fades off, rolls back… there’s much more movement in this piece. Non-stop motion in the headspace, and I really love all these synth sounds and how they are like, constantly mutating, while the rhythms hit you hard at every measured interval. It all drops away, and I’m left wondering what the hell is going on, and if the track is over, but it isn’t… the synth is like a drunk guy staggering back towards us outside the bar. Tight groove control when the rhythms return, snipped up like a paper snowflake.

Next is ‘ACIDTRIP’. It is screaming like a malfunctioning arcade game. Hats and clips of white noise in the mix, powerpill chip arps. Then, that bass… a bit grimy, distorted chippishness. VGM acid. It’s a bit hard to say how this is gonna hit us when it does, where the groove will come from, what direction, but you feel like it will happen at any moment, but for right now it’s almost like some broken groove… oh, there it is, blasting us with what sounds like a super up-pitched hoover sound, practically noise, ear-splitting, with some distorted bass kicks, and lots of LFOs wobbling around like baby chickens. We’re getting somewhere, though… ripping chips, micro-house hats with a bit of swing… and, a complete breakdown into a broken, dysfunctional pacman machine on repeat.

Then, the similarly titled ‘ACIDGROOVE’, which feels a lot more acidlike, some distorted, throttled 303 in the mix and a hollow kick. It feels hard and funky, entering an echoplex. Some nice simple soundchip synth chords float in, very oldschool, but experimental. It’s here that I remember, I always had a hard time rectifying the sound of this album with the art, which makes it seem like it’s gonna be something completely different than this. Anyway, the thumps get thumpier and the sounds get even more strange, with the constant modification of knobs and fx. The drums also feel like they’re slowing down, doubling over constantly. This is one of the weirdest things on the record.

Lastly, ‘BIG BEAT’ takes us into pretty straight-forward 4/4 dance territory. A bit mecha, like factory-floor grooves. Robo-industrial house. The melodic, LFO-driven synth is really cool, sliding around, re-harmonizing itself. Big bass coils itself around us, like a boa, saying “Whoaw”, which I am aware is not the sound most snakes make, particularly boas who I always imagined as kind of a silent snake. This thing is on total meltdown mode now, like a really wacky siren going off. The groove is back, and the synths are like, “wow!”

I hope you enjoy this one, reader… I even brought you a link, so you can snack on it a bit:

https://archive.org/details/Baldino-Baldinonjmp3-0380

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