Chris Ianuzzi's electronica is a fundamental contribution to the entire genre. Without him, I bet the genre would be devoid of inspiration and thereby far less interesting. I can feel he's rolling his eyes right now. Chris is a New Yorker but, his music is unworldly. An electronic artist who makes experimental ambient space music that's accessible. His last full-length release from 2020, Planeteria, is proof of his astral approach. Especially, with a single called "Olga In A Back Hole". That single dropped in March of that year, before the pandemic lockdown began. That June we would see his real name, post-I, Synthesist debut. By that time, we all wanted to be somewhere else, so to hear some space music to escape the planet Earth was an option. Isn't it always, though? In a sense, you could say that he was building a way to transport us elsewhere when we needed it most.
In 2022, he releases Maze, taking ambient space music sounds from Planeteria, fueled with beats and vocals. That album combined singles, some released over a six-month period. With this second release, he was further away from his previous project, I, Synthesist. It's these albums released as Chris Ianuzzi where he feels the need to be more comfortable in using his name. The cycle of that process repeats, as it's new and a less laborious for him to release singles up to an album. In January of this year, we would see Ianuzzi return with "Edge Of The Earth", followed in February by "Silent Sea". Now, two new singles, "Distant Suns" and "Wild Side" could mean another album is on its way?
Chris Ianuzzi is like the Q Star Trek character of space music
"Distant Suns" starts with what sounds like scratchy dimensional fractals squirting out. They, speed up, rushing together into a cosmic zipper. Then at 0:13, throbbing dual sunbursts of melodic pulsars quiver out beams of optimism. At 0:27, Chris squeezes his way through the membranes of created sound with his vocals.
"We are the ones, the distant suns," but, we still have a foundation to build! At 0:44, Ianuzzi removes the top layer. The track continues with a broad, abstract bass line (baseline) and sings:
"What you're after, going somewhere? Never asking, never changing, all these change to mine. Who see quivers, spins are ever. Please be with me always with me, my frozen downtime."
We return to the melodic, but it's the bass line that holds things together here, as only Ianuzzi knows how to do. "Distant Suns" is an example of how Ianuzzi appeals to the likeness of Q, the extra-dimensional being from Star Trek TNG. Q…, I mean, Chris, will let the track lapse and bring it together with ease, as it falls apart. Well, of course, he can! He's the composer. Duh! It feels as if the track lives on its own terms. Ianuzzi lives in his own, able to manipulate and control "Distant Suns" without even trying.
There is no celestial without the primordial
Then there is "Wild Side", which sounds as it reads. He sings, "Listen to the wild side, move to the body-mind." I can't think about space music without the primordial and the unrestrained. The composer allows the threat of the unrestrained to loom over us at the beginning of the track. There's that hollowed, distorted ringing, and then a growl in the bass. He's letting us know that we don't belong here.
When we're not in the verse, the rhythmic bass loop keeps things in order. The ambiance reminds me of Clint Mansell's theme from Darren Aronofsky's Pi. This track is less melodic than "Distant Suns". There are moments towards the end where Chris tries to tame it, but this track has too much of a wild side to control. Wild stays wild.
This music, much like space, is eerie. Not to say that it's not exciting or beautiful. As you can see, some of Ianuzzi's albums have song titles that involve space. The images and the music videos that go with his work don't help to not promote our connection with the cosmos.
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