CD Review: Andrew Remondini - Non Sequitur (Independent - May 29, 2014)

CD Review:
Andrew Remondini - Non Sequitur
(Independent - May 29, 2014)

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Tuneful and layered, Non Sequitur, the debut album by Italian composer Andre Remondini, ably spans the gap between contemporary classical and electronic pop music.

He's been on the radar since his single Ocean Whispers (co-written with DJ Mauro Picotto) reached #3 in the Italian sales charts in 1996, followed by a slew of other dance singles that charted in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe.

Andrea has actually been making music since the age of 12. Self-taught at the piano, his first experiments in electronic music featured old school computer and keyboard technology. A decade later, at 22, he worked as a staff songwriter/studio musician/sound engineer at an indie dance label in Italy. He left that gig to pursue his own music and Non Sequitor is the result. Andrea plays all the keyboards and produced the album himself.

His transition from dance to progressive synth-pop comes in the form of a single, title track that clocks in at 44'12". Along the way, Andrea weaves in and out of melodies and themes seamlessly.

It comes as no surprise to learn Andrea cites the early works of Mike Oldfield and Jean-Michel Jarre as inspiration. He builds the track in layers of keyboard and synth for melodic and rhythmic effects, throwing in percussive sounds, echoes of a churchy organ, carillon-like bell tones, choral notes and more to create a lush, orchestral feel. A single track of 44+ minutes may seem indigestible but he changes moods and modes seamlessly. A melody and theme are established, developed and then effortlessly morph into another and then another over the course of the long track.

The music is atmospheric and ranges from spacey, spooky, moody themes to contemplative to heroic to upbeat. Some sections have an almost whimsical feel while others feature wordless choral tones. Just when you think you hear a theme coming to a close, it transforms into another. The constant change and variety that veers from pop to new music contemporary classical avoid monotony. A favourite section comes about halfway in - minimalist, rhythmic and mesmerizing.

A good instrumental album reminds you that you don't need words to express emotion. Like a long, meandering story, Non Sequitur is the soundtrack to a movie that runs through your head as you listen.