Over the last couple of years, windows of opportunities were shut ahead of us. Some were essential, blurred the vanishing point and led to hazy consequences, while others merely forced the light to find different ways out.
The latest release from Georgio Valentino emerged from a bizarre period that felt surreal to many. If 2014’s double album Mille Plateaux was recorded at 5 different locations around the world, Lines of Flight was written in a period when flying back home across continents was no longer an option and exile was back on the table. Decisions taken years and a pandemic ago had to be adjusted as circumstances obliged, even if in the meantime a farewell album with what it seems now a prophetic title The Future Lasts a Long Time was issued in 2017.
Lines of Flight is a collection of emotions passing through crevices of invisible walls, as they refuse to remain incapsulated in time. Or space, for what it’s worth, as the album features a great deal of collaborations with musicians from around the world. Despite the exile and confinement, Lines of Flight remains a truly international project, a deterritorialised space station hosting in turns or simultaneously many of Georgio Valentino’s collaborators and longtime friends.
The whole album fuses contemplative melodies with varying degrees of experimentation. The opening lines on Fanfare + Lines of Flight are drawn by the very distinct violin of Blaine L. Reininger, to be followed by a cinematic piano configuration and reflective lyrics. Georgio Valentino’s ability to blend peculiar imaginary into inspired arrangements led to a wide variety of sounds and genres on this album. However, his unique style remains unmistakable even on more rhythmic tracks like #gothgf featuring Buko Pan Guerra on guitar or, for a better example, on the two versions of Bound: one recorded in Athens with Blaine L. Reininger and Mick Harvey (The Birthday Party) on drums, on which Valentino plays ukulele, and a more synth ambient one recorded in Berlin with the co-author Craig Walker (Archive). The Temptation of Saint Georgio with Emmanuele Gattuso on guitar is Depeche Mode-esque, confident and vibrant. Schizoid Grifter Blues featuring Joel Alexander Stephens and Jason Irvin (Them Bad Boys) is a reimagined blues treat, with variation in timbres and textures to the point where it fades out to the edge of a waking dream. My personal favourite is the upbeat, tinged with madness and beautifully carried out Sleep Alone.
With Lines of Flight Georgio Valentino has dusted off his prism to shed lines of radiance as response to dramatically changed manners.
The album is out on limited edition 10” vinyl on November 5 via bandcamp.
Released in November 2021.
Available on bandcamp from November 5, 2021.
Original art by Camille Marceau
Georgio Valentino – Bound [Berlin]
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