CD Review

Joe Renzetti – “Aniron”

By Marcus Pan

AnironSweet melancholy wrapped up tightly in overtones of broodingness and served on a silver platter of iron. That's what Joe Renzetti's latest, Aniron, comes out sounding like to me. From the opening Revelation, Joe's mixture of modern electronics yet dark classic overtones combine into a cohesive force of feeling and emotion.

When Joe Renzetti first wrote me about Aniron upon its release from Astral Plane, he actually wanted to know if I'd be interested in reviewing it. Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes indeed! Coming off my memories of the first time I've spun Talking to the Dead(1), I was pretty sure Aniron would be yet another round of fine-ass ambience from someone I consider a master of the art. I have not been let down.

Joe has saved me from a horribly audible death. Just about all the ambience or “experimental” that has crossed my desk lately has been a bunch of kids tinkering with metal bits in their garage and recording it and labeling it “music.” Not so with Aniron. While purely minimal in make-up, Aniron proves what many artists fail to do regardless of their intentions. That it’s not complication that makes a beautiful noise, but control and arrangement. Hence, the tinkering with the bits in the garage thing doesn’t quite work when it comes to “making music.” “Music” must have some sort of arrangement, and if it isn’t touched and arranged by somebody it’s therefore not artistic.

Dreaming Out Loud opens metallically and continues the female swooning that began in Revelation. Sighs that can evoke an orgasm from a devil, Joe's spoken word fills in the void between flotation chords with poetics. Toning it down with pure wide-open spaces of smooth chords, again truly minimal but nonetheless aurally breathtaking, Never Alone Again sweeps you along for a ride in the clouds, leaving you for lost in the dark bunch of cumulus but hinting that somewhere you’ll find, if you look long enough, that proverbial silver lining that we all long to wrap our fingers around and pull to our bodies.

What’s uncanny about Renzetti is his ability to grasp and drag out emotions, controlling and twisting them to where ever his whims go that particular moment. On Talking to the Dead, his previous release, he was able to actually frighten you with his glimpses into the paranormal reaches between here and wherever. Here on Aniron he taps into everyone’s subconscious notion of being surrounded by people – yet alone inside. He dabbles with loneliness, love, heartbreak, and indeed happiness as he moves throughout Aniron, taking you along for the ride as he goes. The music takes you on a plane far away as it revolves around you, yet the realization is there that you’re not really going anywhere but inside yourself.

The winds of Danielle’s Song is like this, as it breezes you along with creepy melodies to one of those far planes. Stepping a little bit into Deathwatch Beetle Repairman(2) territory with modern-created yet tribal-sounding beats, Sacrifices is not nearly as dangerous as the track name makes it out to be. It’s actually one of Joe’s more soothing and pleasant pieces even if the drum work retains its slightly danger-riveting pulse. The way Joe can take pointed sounds and soften them with surrounding chorales without losing a bit of the strength and pointyness of the first is also one of his strong suits.

I really dig Aniron and it has rebuilt my faith in minimalist ambience. Musicians today tend to either dump too much shite in one bucket in order to create something that attempts to sound random, or don’t touch or create anything at all and just record whatever comes along. Both don’t work – the first is just teenager-ish and the latter isn’t artistic enough to be called music. Joe can use almost nothing to take you anywhere he wants with his music while producing as many feelings and emotions within you (or finding the buried ones you haven’t used in a while). Sometimes it’s good to find those old feelings again and dust them off. If you have any trouble there, just pick up a CD by Joe Renzetti and he’ll help you out.

(1) Reviewed in Legends #96.
(2) Who’s only CD, Hollow Fishes, was reviewed in Legends #88.
Contact Information:
Joe Renzetti
Post: 6326 Well Fleet Dr., Columbus, OH, 43231, USA