Neither/Nor Records

Carlo Costa, Oblio (n/n 011) 



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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


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)