Exploring possible crossovers between soundscape, science and therapy, Harmonic Resonance System 432 Hz is not your regular alphawave-based new age album. Where popular releases in this genre often border on generic, this ambient record from Italian producer Simone Gatto presents us with a euphonic yet vaguely ambiguous soundscape. Creating cathartic potential beyond the mere impact of harmony and binaural beats, some of Gatto’s musical phrases are tinged with an ominous quality- and this while intensities are patiently inflated and reduced, appealing to the listener’s clarity and focus while allowing for a near-complete immersion into sound patterns.
Vaguely resembling Brian Eno’s ambient works, Gatto’s extensive use of resonance creates an impression of three dimensionality- to the same end, divergent sound frequencies are projected against a wholesome harmonic backdrop that is generously complemented with vocals, bells, and the sound of water. These primitive sound elements are slowly weaved into and peeled off of each other – they nuance the synth’s otherworldly sounds and, as is often the case with great ambient, give us the impression that we are re-discovering the potential of our immediate surroundings. Near-tangible in its intensity, the crinkling of water becomes almost disturbingly close, while the synth-based backdrop continues to invite contemplation.
Taking very few risks throughout the album, Simone Gatto nonetheless demonstrates his contemporaneity by infusing his soundscape with near-angelic vocal patterns; there is even a moment where chanting is restrained for a way of singing that borders on speech, unexpectedly introducing language in this ocean of abstract proportions. Though the words are hardly discernible, the contrast they form with the heavily sonorous resonance leaves them disarming; they serve to intensify the overall impression that this music is speaking to us, that we are engaged in an intimate and secretive dialogue that will leave only traces in the mind of the listener. Though this album appeals more to our introspective side, it’s easy to imagine Gatto killing it in the club scene- almost religious, yet never pretentious, Harmonic Resonance System 432 Hz is a fascinating inquiry into the physical potential of sound.
by Juliet Hoornaert.
Stream “The Art of Listening” (feat. Flora Paär) below and download the album here.