We’ve all come across artists of many different kinds of styles that consider themselves the highest level that an artist could be as they consider themselves auteurs and other fancy terms. Very smarmy pricks that make you hate the word “artist”, but every now and then there comes someone who brings glory to being called a true artist. Tonight for me that came in the form of the latest album from Mario Lino Stancati who challenges both himself and the listener with material that is constantly changing on every level.
You could very easily just label this work as a primarily ambient work like I’m doing just to make things easier on myself, but there is so much fucking more to this album that it’s a little nuts. Mario Lino Stancati fully-embraces the idea of genre-hopping to a great degree but it’s all incorporated into a roughly ambient form such that it all molds together pretty well for a greatly atmospheric effort that never once treads over the same ground twice. “Cross the Desert” very much feels like a Biblical-esque task in how alluring it sounds at first with the prospect of a nice reward at the end, but the journey quickly morphs into something incredibly different over time. Like I said, Stancati never once repeats himself and that really allows this album to become an absolute menagerie of sounds that worm their way into your skull such that whether you revel in the unique performances or shy away from them you can’t deny that they absolutely go against the norm of each style involved, and “Cross the Desert” brings them together magnificently. It always keeps you on your toes and goes in so many different directions that one listen is simply not enough to absorb everything here. You really need to throw yourself into this aural whirlwind that is truly not like most others if it’s not wholly unique, but, even then, arguing that Stancati has created anything less than an increasingly odd yet alluring work that should appeal to anyone looking for music that’s completely out of the left field, constantly self-innovating, and never settles with falling into the same rhythm for even a few minutes.
This is probably the craziest stretch of ambient music that you’ll ever see me get into, but this is absolutely the kind of album that demands to be looked into by a fan of the style whether you’re only an occasional visitor like myself or a deeply loyal listener. Not much can properly warn you for what Stancati has created something quite special with “Cross the Desert”, and it is absolutely something that I will find myself crawling back to not too long from now.
LISTEN to “Cross the Desert” on Bandcamp here.