Neither/Nor Records

Carlo Costa, Oblio (n/n 011) 



       Order digital downloads & CDs

In his debut solo album Carlo Costa presents two pieces for solo acoustic percussion which make use of improvisation within composed structures. For the recording Carlo used an assortment of instruments and objects (drum set, concert bass drum, singing bowls, bells, triangles, wood blocks, tiles, styrofoam, cymbals, violin bows, marbles, chains, knives, etc) to create a wide array of sounds in a shifting landscape of textures that overlap, morph and cut into one another.


Carlo Costa - percussion

Recorded by Nathaniel Morgan at Noplace in Brooklyn, NY on June 29th and July 1st, 2017. Mixed by Nathaniel Morgan. Mastered by Lasse Marhaug. All music by Carlo Costa. Photographs by William Norman Fraleigh. Design by Carlo Costa.

Release date: November 7, 2018


Nowhere Street

“In the last few years I've become an avid admirer of the New York-based Italian percussionist Carlo Costa, a guy who's discovered plenty of nuance and possibilities within a friction-based approach to his instrument. In most cases I've heard him apply his meticulously pitched sounds in collaborative settings where musicians produce texture-oriented noise and collective drones like his trio Natura Morta or extended journeys into subtle interplay, as with his terrific 2017 album with Norwegian guitarist Håvard Volden, In the Wake. On those recordings it's been easy and pleasurable to pick out his contributions, which carve out a vast world of ambience, disruption, chaos, and serenity. Late last year he dropped his first solo recording, Oblio (Neither/Nor), which both allows for a more focused experience of his aesthetic bedrock, but it also enables the listener to get inside his structural mindset, which lays out a compositional focus using improvisational means.” (April 25, 2019)

The New Noise

“In Oblio, il suo primo lavoro in solo e undicesimo disco per la personale Neither/Nor, il musicista romano si fa Caronte e ci traghetta attraverso lo Stige nel regno dei morti: fantasmi pulsanti, ricordi di groove, passi come apparenze e fuochi fatui, piccolissime febbri ritmiche che preludono a improvvise piogge minacciose, memoria, deserti, cubi metafisici, fruscio di sottofondo. La percussione come strumento narrativo, capace di radunare gli spiriti, raccogliere energie che abbiamo dimenticato di avere, il suono profondo come esperienza enteogena. Brulle formazioni rocciose, stalattiti, stalagmiti, laghi appena appena emersi dalle viscere imperscrutabili della terra, funghi, creature cieche abituate al buio perenne, gocce che tardano un secolo a cadere, sale, epifanie, brevissime lame di luce.” (March 6, 2019) 

Citizen Jazz

“La dimension organique est forte, et à ce titre on est davantage chez le Carlo Costa qu’on entend dans Natura Morta avec l’altiste Frantz Loriot que chez le membre du quartet de Jean-Brice Godet. Et pourtant, cette approche totale du solo maître des sons et des images inhérentes signe une proximité, voire une familiarité, avec les aventures solistes de Godet, mais aussi de Loriot ou de Niggenkemper.” (February 24, 2019)

Free Jazz Collective

“The pieces are built around structural composed parts, which offer a sense of direction for the improvisation. The first piece amazingly enough creates a broad sense of space too, with instruments that almost dialogue like human voices in a wide and empty realm full of resonance. The second piece completely breaks that effect, offering a different side of the same coin, but now more intimate, with less resonance, as if every sound is absorbed by the carpets in the room, and with a more prominent role of his drum set. Despite the clear outside-inside distinction, both tracks equal each other in intensity and narrative power. Like percussive innovators such as Eddie Prévost, the instruments are no longer used for rhythmic purposes, but are played in such a way to allow for stretched notes, scratching and scraping sounds, hollow reverberations, overlaid with rumbling and pealing noises.  In stark contrast to Prévost, Costa is not a minimalist, quite to the contrary even: a lot is happening, with very frequent variations in the use of instrument and sonority, creating tense and even dense listening experience. ****½” (December 26, 2018)

Just Outside

A solo percussion effort from Costa, two long pieces and expertly handled. 'I' is expansive, flowing and very well-paced, keeping on the quiet side of things while patiently exploring a vast array of instruments large and small. Costa constructs a convincing landscape, entirely without pyrotechnics, maintaining interest with both delicacy and urgency. 'II' employs wood blocks, high-pitched bells and some swirling, metallic based attacks, more structured (though loosely enough), recalling to some extent the late Jerome Cooper's brilliants solo concerts. It "decomposes" into a section of harsher rubbing, somehow melancholy, drifting into plaintive moans. Very good work, well worth a listen.” (October 29, 2018)