Subliminal Pulse

Subliminal Pulse

Bruno Sanfilippo

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Listen 1. The Third Geometry
Listen 2. Santa Luminosa
Listen 3. Spirit Allies
Listen 4. Intrinsic Fluctuations
Listen 5. Subliminal Pulse
Listen 6. Slipped Time
Listen 7. Alchemical Powers
Listen 8. Pulsum Sacrum
Listen 9. Mantram

Veteran Electronic/Ambient composer and recording artist Bruno Sanfilippo has been creating and releasing impressive soundscapes since 1991. Now the internationally established instrumentalist delivers his first official US release, Subliminal Pulse, a tranquil and hypnotic ambient musical tapestry comprised of delicate melodies, layered electronics and synth textures that seem to come from deep within a dream.

Sanfilippo skillfully crafts the nine purely electronic compositions into an elegant and subtle soundspace of great depth, wonder and serenity. A myterious mood, although never foreboding, is present throughout the entire album and hovers just on the edge of a shadowy contemplation that leads the listener to deeper regions of introspection. This is the result of Sanfilippo’s desire to create a bridge; a connection between the imagination and the universe.

He explains, “Sometimes, the poetic language of music reveals what cannot be seen. It shows a reality that has nothing to do with words. With my electronic instruments I take the universe’s ‘Subliminal Pulse’, and I try to build a bridge between my inner pulse and the pulse of the outer space.”

Subliminal Pulse is the perfect complement to other Spotted Peccary and Lotuspike releases from Between Interval, Terra Ambient, and Rudy Adrian, as well as the lineage of Steve Roach, Brian Eno, and Kevin Braheny. By blending lush dreamscapes, darker spaces and a timeless universal quality into a classic sound with a purity that speaks to the soul, Sanfilippo re-invigorates the sub-genre of SPACE MUSIC with his first release on the Spotted Peccary Music label.

Reviews

A review from Heathen Harvest | Read Full Review
"Subliminal Pulse is an excellent example of ambient music at its finest"

These are stormy times. A season of harvest and recreation, but also a time of dreams and new beginnings. As the days grow darker and the moon once again reclaims the sky as its domain, I find myself longing for a dream yet untold, a dream carried by the music of the sky. Bruno Sanfilippo is a classically schooled composer hailing from Buenos Aires whom really manages to breath life into his music with that rare gift of harmony. I recently found myself wandering the bleak and chilly October landscape when “The Third Geometry” swept into my senses. It is a strange sensation watching the sun set over the almost diffuse urban landscape guided by its gentle tunes.

Bruno Sanfilippo
Bruno Sanfilippo
One of many strengths this album manifests is its diverse yet harmonious nature. The songs differ in both shape and structure, ranging from the deep and subterranean “Alchemical Powers” to the swirling and gentle breeze that is “Mantram”. It is a potent album that really blends the best aspects of classical composition with ambient structures. “Spirit Allies”, for example, is a compelling mix of sweeping, brooding strings that are tied together with intricate digital rhythms. The serene piano of “Slipped Time” merges seamlessly with an ambient background, creating a divine yet earth-bound sensation. There is a certain atmosphere tied to this album that differentiates itself heavily from the rest of the ambient material that I’ve come to cover in my years with Heathen Harvest. The symbiosis of the organic sounds with the more digital is profound in moments on Subliminal Pulse, where other works are usually more shallow. This is not a bad thing, but it takes some time getting above and beyond the feeling that this hampers some of the tracks. Overall, the album reminds me of the workings of Steve Roach and David Helpling, yet holds a unique place in the grand scheme.

Sometimes, when my life turns for the worst and nothing but the most rudimentary of instincts keeps my sanity intact, it feels good to just drift away on a rug with a steaming cup of tea to keep you company. It is also at those moments when the gates to the dream lands are wide open that I find myself susceptible to the harmony of the universe. Subliminal Pulse is an excellent example of ambient music at its finest and stands strong as a hybrid between fine-tuned harmony and dreaming digital craftsmanship. This is an album that almost manifests that tranquility I can feel in the end of the year — an album of balance and thoughtfulness. Somehow, the drifting melodies of the album strike a spark inside that grants both peace and strength in these late days of our year. This is an album for ambient connoisseurs that enjoy the more classically defined ambient music. “Mantram” is by far its strongest track, and for that alone I will gladly revisit Subliminal Pulse for years to come.

- Skarsnik, Heathen Harvest

A review from Hypnagogue | Read Full Review
Quite simply one of the best CDs of the year

Bruno Sanfilippo continues his run of excellent CDs with his latest release, Subliminal Pulse. Sanfilippo’s tour this time moves through nine tracks that follow a soul-pleasing path of reducing themselves slightly in complexity as they go, from the starlight shimmer and mathematical rhythm of ‘The Third Geometry ‘ down to the prayer-like sighs of ‘Mantram. ‘ Within that framework each piece stands on its own, but the whole still carries a strongly unified feel, an unwavering continuation of intent. The difference in tracks comes off as less of a change of direction than the way the mind courses from one thought to the next, taking up an idea and moving off with it. The centerpiece here is the 14-minute ‘Intrinsic Fluctuations, ‘ a thoughtful landscape of sound that keeps folding in on itself to find new identities. It passes through quiet spaces, spacey quietude, shadowy moments and the border of rhythm (with some nicely understated percussion), each transformation modestly making itself noticeable. My problem in trying to write this review has been that every track borders on being too lovely for words; they simply must be heard. ‘Santa Luminosa ‘ has a hint of gypsy violin mourning through its sad song. The title track begins with a music-box-type melody and gently builds from there as misty washes ease in at the edges. It feels like remembering. ‘Pulsum Sacrum ‘ will absolutely carry you off with it, a slow-breath drift centered by two repeated sets of three notes–one set rising, the other falling, both carrying, as the title suggests, a sacred-music feel. This is a deep prayer for the soul, and a balm for the mind. Loop just this track and you may be setting yourself up for a religious experience. As always, Sanfilippo’s mastery of sound textures enriches the experience of each track. Deep, focused listening reaps incredible rewards and opens entirely different worlds. Quite simply one of the best CDs of 2011 so far, and definitely a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

- John Shanahan, Hypnagogue

A review from STAR'S END | Read Full Review
Bruno Sanfilippo has released a significant number of CDs . . . Subliminal Pulse may well possibly be his finest.

Argentine synthesist Bruno Sanfilippo has released a significant number of CDs, both as a solo artist and in collaboration. Subliminal Pulse (67'40 ‘) may well possibly be his finest. In creating nine unique and distinctive synthetic compositions, Sanfilippo has realized an album that attracts and calms the mind of the listener - as he embraces the ethereal side of his creativity. His music has been made in a kind of modern simplicity. At its most basic, this work is merely form, theme and variation taking place over time. But what this artist does with these core elements is quite engaging. Reverberant piano trips across an ever opening synth pad while resonant tones whisper gently above delicate nature sounds. Other parts of this disc are not so sleepy. In one place heavenly voices and ceremonial drum augment the purring and murmuring electronic emanations. Then, on another track, a squawking modulation makes way for ethnic percussion runs and breathing strings. With so many interesting sounds and timbres unfolding at such a contemplative pace, the listening experience is a pleasant one - revealing much about the composer. Subliminal Pulse is not at all about the strive toward virtuosity. It is an exploration of the inner self. For Sanfilippo music seems a tool used to interpret what is inside him.

- Chuck van Zyl, STAR'S END

A review from Morpheus Music | Read Full Review
very introspective, very beautiful

Although Argentinean electronic ambient composer and recording artist Bruno Sanfilippo has been releasing distinctive instrumental music for around two decades, clocking up fourteen items on his discography, and although he is presently based in Barcelona, Spain, Subliminal Pulse is his first official US release. Presented via the well-known Spotted Peccary label, the disc contains nine mid-length tracks all hovering around the six/seven minute mark apart from Intrinsic Fluctuations which takes in a second over fourteen minutes. Promotional material suggests: ‘By blending lush dreamscapes, darker spaces and a timeless universal quality into a classic sound with a purity that speaks to the soul, Sanfilippo re-invigorates the sub-genre of SPACE MUSIC with his first release on the Spotted Peccary Music label. ‘ That's well put since this album treads a graceful line between an earth-bound sense of the sacred and galactic immensity. Bruno himself says of the album: ‘Sometimes, the poetic language of music reveals what cannot be seen. It shows a reality that has nothing to do with words. With my electronic instruments I take the universe’s ‘Subliminal Pulse ‘, and I try to build a bridge between my inner pulse and the pulse of the outer space ‘

Mostly beatless, melodic ambient music. Bruno Sanfilippo here combines silken synthesiser tone, twinkling sequential patterns and elegant string formations. The tracks are mostly without beats, yet often not without rhythm; cycling motifs ripple in regular time, dancing arpeggios bright and prominent in places, subtle in others, hypnotic in repetition. The opening track does have a percussive beat; deep, sonorous ethnic hand drums reverberating in layered patterns and there are a few other percussive flecks here and there. There are a number of drifting passages without any obvious metre where undulating drones gather into profound intensities; within these restful, shadowy zones Sanfilippo artfully places just the right sparcity of piano touches, spectral voice atmospheres or reverberating metallic chimes. There are some environmental recordings in places; a low grumble of thunder, water movement, distant bird or insect calls; Alchemical Powers especially drawing a lot of its exotic mystique from these sounds of nature. The concluding track Mantram is a charming piece where dreamy string lines ebb and flow against the idle tide of warm synth pads - very introspective, very beautiful.

- Paul Jury, Morpheus Music

A review from Music Sojourn | Read Full Review
Masterful ambient excursions that evoke the classic ambient masters such as Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Klaus Schulze and even early Tangerine Dream.

Masterful ambient excursions that evoke the classic ambient masters such as Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Klaus Schulze and even early Tangerine Dream. These complex and intricate compositions range from airy to intense, haunting, mysterious and droning to harmonious and ethereal. Taken in its entirety, the album might be interpreted as a journey from the beginning of time through the formation of life, or a similar evolutionary or developmental theme. Bruno Sanfilippo is an accomplished electronic artist and his many years of composing and performing yield another excellent ambient collection here.

- Scott Ericson, Music Sojourn

A review from Sonic Immersion | Read Full Review
an emotional ride through richly layered electronic sphere paintings.

‘Sometimes, the poetic language of music reveals what cannot be seen. It shows a reality that has nothing to do with words. With my electronic instruments I take the universe’s ‘Subliminal Pulse ‘, and I try to build a bridge between my inner pulse and the pulse of the outer space ‘.

This is the comment given by the talented Bruno Sanfilippo on his first US-release ‘Subliminal Pulse ‘, which again is an emotional ride through richly layered electronic sphere paintings.

Things curl and shapeshift into various dimensions and levels of depth, as the string and atmospheric sections spread their wings. By this, the recording opens a doorway to organic-based spacemusic with a dynamic, occasionally percussive but overall tranquil soundscape tapestry continuously morphing underneath.

While the space is simply found between the fine curved lines moving between the dark and the light, the intrinsic pulsations within Sanfilippo’s soaring mood music create a sense of awe and pleasant hypnotic state.

Nevertheless, the peculiar sonic alchemy of this free form ambient recording demands focussed listening, due to Bruno’s profound and quite adventurous exploration of new sonic approaches, strategies and ideas.

- Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion

A review from Synth&Sequences | Read Full Review
It’s quite nice!

The Argentine Bruno Sanfilippo is a musician, a sculptor of sound and a composer since nearly 20 years. Similar to Vangelis’, his music floats above our dreams with soft harmonies which wind around sometimes abstracted, ambient or simply melodious structures. Subliminal Pulse is his 12th solo album since his very first one realized in 1991(Sounds of the Light) and his very 1st to be released by the Californian label Spotted Peccary. He depicts Subliminal Pulse in these terms; ‘Sometimes, the poetic language of music reveals what cannot be seen. It shows a reality that has nothing to do with words. With my electronic instruments I take the universe's 'Subliminal Pulse', and I try to build a bridge between my inner pulse and the pulse of the outer space. ‘ It’s a very nice way to define this very poetic and oniric album, among which 9 tracks enclose delicate harmonies which move like feathers in space.

The Third Geometry introduces to the soft poetic universe of Sanfilippo with a very fine ethereal line of synth which oscillates of its sparkling chant on a delicate structure livened up by a mix of soft percussions and pulsations. It’s a mixture which shapes a soft and suave rhythm with strikes that roam in an iridescent synth mist, weaving an eclectic unreal universe both ambient and tribal. A musical world imprints of mystery with this electric mist which bewitches on a sparse rhythmic structure and a soft synth so near astral singings. Santa Luminosa’s intro is tearing by a heavy metallic reverberation before finding again the tranquility settled by The Third Geometry. It’s an oniric peace of mind with this soft and bewitching astral singing that the synthesist who now live in Spain likes to sculpt from his synth. A little as on The Third Geometry, the delicate rhythm of percussions and the twinkling arpeggios which skip among pulsations is ennobled by synth layers which sing as celestial mermaids and lamentations of violin, creating a thousand of illusions and passion from a Middle East tribal universe. Continuing in the same vein, but with a clearly more ambient approach, Spirit Allies flood our ears of a sulphurous melody which bewitches with its lamentations sculptured in the tones of a synth with soft poetic tendencies. It’s a superb track impregnated by a strange serenity, quite as Slipped Time and its piano from which solitary notes pierce drill a beautiful mellotron mist as well as Pulsum Sacrum and its great choirs which float around astral bells and synthesized pulsations à la Vangelis. It’s quite nice!

It’s with long synth breeze in slow oscillations that Intrinsic Fluctuations begins. Synth layers are interweaving to form an oblong mist procession where the echoes of an odd tribal world can be heard midway. Delicate lonely arpeggios sparkle there and skip delicately on a glass fauna, among misty flute breathings that sound like Berber tribes tones and of repenting souls walking towards an enchanting world where oasis are outlining on the horizon. Imprint of mystery Subliminal Pulse evolves on nice pulsations surrounded by oniric spectral chants. Like in Alchemical Powers, the rhythm is hardly present if it’s for a delicate alternation in fine pulsations which beat in a universe buried by a subliminal tenderness. Mantram is another delicacy coming from Bruno Sanfilippo's hybrid tones synths. Between tearful lamentations of heart-rending violin and a mystic morning mist, Mantram unwinds as an ode to sadness or a call to melancholy.

As Bruno Sanfilippo describes it so well; Subliminal Pulse is an astral musical journey where inner impulsions try to converge on those more cosmic. At this level Subliminal Pulse is an opus of an infinite tenderness where astral chants are moulding perfectly well to the soft ambiances of a world of which tribal fragrances seem to be the key of our spirituality. Like most of the Spotted Peccary label works, Subliminal Pulse sails between celestial ambient and progressive New Age, evolving through a strange and stunning fusion of a cosmic and tribal universe with delicate rhythms, breaths and Berber lamentations and a synth divided between its singings of celestial sirens and the tears of its violins which shape strangely unreal odes. It’s a nice nightly opus where reminiscences of Vangelis can be heard here and there, but on more honeyed than complex structures.

- Sylvain Lupari, Synth&Sequences

A review from Relaxed Machinery | Read Full Review
"gorgeously hypnotic and tranquil journey"

Bruno Sanfilippo's landing on sympathetic Californian label Spotted Peccary Music was a really nice surprise for me and also a very good kept secret. Really nice move that can be only much fruitful and challenging for both sides. Bruno Sanfilippo is a very prolific ambient/modern classical composer, born in Argentina, Buenos Aires, but since the year 2000 residing in Spain, Barcelona. "Subliminal Pulse" is Bruno's 11th solo album, but he has on his credit also few collaborations with Max Corbacho and Mathias Grassow and one "Anthology" compilation. From the very first notes "Subliminal Pulse" is a very rich and skillfully sculpted sonic palette floating from slightly melodic ambient ("The Third Geometry", "Santa Luminosa") to deeper space travels ("Intrinsic Fluctuations", "Subliminal Pulse"), from modern classically sounding arrangements ("Spirit Allies", "Slipped Time", "Mantram") through darker minimal experiments with strong environmental feel ("Alchemical Powers") to more monumental sacral texture ("Pulsum Sacrum"). Each composition is crafted with highest precision, incorporated are various fragments like melodic EM ingredients, various distant voices and ethereal choirs, ethnic and modern classical influenced passages, few sonic outbursts and carefully used field-recordings. Surprisingly, this wider variety of sounds and tapestries works together more than effectively, the sonic panoramas are beautifully warm, emotional, joyous and elegant. And when adding crystalline sound quality and nicely fitting digipak artwork, we get absolutely sophisticated piece of electronic music, "Subliminal Pulse" is one of the best 2011 releases so far!!! Muchas gracias, Bruno, for taking me with you to this gorgeously hypnotic and tranquil journey!!!

- Richard Guertler, Relaxed Machinery

A review from Influx | Read Full Review
On this disc is some of the cleanest, dream-like ambient music available today.

Subliminal Pulse is Bruno Sanfilippo’s 14th CD release. On this disc is some of the cleanest, dream-like ambient music available today. Subliminal Pulse is full of lush and fertile soundscapes; the song Alchemal Powers, for instance, contains an absolute serene passage featuring sounds of nature so opulently mixed… it is natural beauty amplified to the nth degree. Sanfilippo’s sense of tonality and musical structure is plainly brilliant. The synths throughout are sharp and vibrant, though also delicate. Fron the start at Third Geometry, the brightness of Bruno’s dreams are laid bare. Further along, the strings in Spirit Allies are voraciously confident, and therefore very comfortable. Pulsum Sacrum stands like a bastille; the sound is staggering. A successful 14th release, indeed a sweet dream.

- James Alfred Fothergill-Brown, Influx

A review from Music and Happy Life | Read Full Review
The more I listen to this rich and detailed ambient opus, the more peacefully excited I become about it's sublime power, beauty and grace.

The more I listen to this rich and detailed ambient opus, the more peacefully excited I become about it's sublime power, beauty and grace.

- DJ Soma aka Om, Music and Happy Life

A review from Goatsden | Read Full Review
it's a winner through and through...Highest marks

Veteran Argentine/Spanish composer Sanfilippo here releases his debut for the American ambient label, Spotted Peccary, and it's a winner through and through.
With a penchant for gentle, natural, and fleeting ambience in the vein of Steve Roach or Robert Rich, Sanfilippo weaves receding washes of spacious sound alongside natural field recordings. And it's a wholly effective synthesis.

For example, ‘Alchemical Powers ‘ reminds of a meditative journey to a rain forest, with birds, chirping frogs, and trickling water alongside what could be singing bowls and distant thunder. Beautiful! ‘Pulsum Sacrum ‘ is stately and majestic, with choral strings and chimes in a similar realm to Eno's classic work. There's no better template than that.

As evocative mood music, Defilippo paints an unobtrusive portrait, and, as the title states, ‘Subliminal Pulse ‘ is an ideal accompaniment for quiet reflection or reading. Highest marks.

- Todd Zachritz, Goatsden

A review from Calatorii spre Infinit | Read Full Review
Subliminal Pulse is a profound work, an important and much-needed achievement in ambient music. I highly recommend it!

While many electronic artists today tend to explore the dark, more rampant possibilities of sound, Bruno Sanfilippo is going in the opposite direction with his new album ‘Subliminal Pulse ‘. He tames the instruments, gently drawing a sonic topography that is slowly emerging into articulate awareness. The arrangements speaks to the mind with an inherent eloquence that is subtle and emotional. From the first pulse to the last vibration, the music linger in the air as if carried on a luminous breeze that takes away the shadows of thoughts and the intrinsic fluctuations. This is music that cannot be expressed into words, yet cannot remain silent. Bruno perform all the pieces using his improvisational talent in developing intuitive harmonies, refining and dissolving the elements like an alchemist in search of spiritual gold.

In a way that comes close to being magisterial, Sanfilippo weaves the strands of our boundless reality into a tapestry that ‘for those who have ears to listen ‘, is truly beautiful and liberating. ‘Subliminal Pulse ‘ is a profound work, an important and much-needed achievement in ambient music. I highly recommend it !

- Marius-Christian Burcea, Calatorii spre Infinit