Having graduated from Manchester School of Sound Recording last year, Emanuele Porcinai’s most recent project, WSR, was inaugurated in rather fine style at Berlin Atonal a couple of months back. His productions concern themselves with “the contrast between acoustic music and synthetic rhythms” - something more than audible in his debut WSR EP, ‘Stainless’. There is more to this than that though - Porcinai is also interested in the effect space and architecture has on sound - ‘Stainless’ also experimenting heavily with different reverbs and spacial effects.

He has not cut any corners in doing this either - the faded electro-acoustic experiments compiled here feature source materials recorded as far afield as Florence Italy, with the help of several other musicians; Thomas Griffiths performing on the cello & double bass, as well as Niccolò Noli playing the electric bass. Porcinai himself also contributed piano, vocal and guitar recordings to the mix, and it is this interaction between these organic textures and his synthetic manipulations that makes this EP so striking.

Take ‘Debris’ for example, cutting itching granular percussion against dust-covered piano refrains and thickly soaked swells of ambience. Melancholic, lo-fi guitar work in the Leyland Kirby/Jacaszek vein open the track, quickly migrating to something more electronic leaning as the percussive elements begin to wrestle control. ‘No Horizon’ inverts this slightly, beginning with echoing mine-shaft percussion, before buzzing low-end strings begin to interweave themselves, haunting and introspective.

As well as his amalgamation of acoustic and electronic timbres, Porcinai has also managed to contrast tones which are beautifully fragile with those that are powerful and affront. Contrast the shuddering demon-breath vocals of ‘Stainless’ for example, with the intimate cello play of ‘Inner Ocean’. There is something deeply intriguing about the way Porcinai has blended these textures, the use of natural reverbs acting as a stabilizer for the contrasting elements.

As a debut release the ‘Stainless’ EP sets out a clear agenda for the WSR project, setting electroacoustic music in a context credible in both techno/industrial and more classical circles alike. We look forward to seeing his next movements.

  • Published
  • Oct 02, 2015