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NIMH: Lanna Memories (Mini CD-R 2002 - Taâlem)

Nimh is the project of Giuseppe Verticchio, an Italian composer who has self-released a many CDRs since 1999. For his latest release on French label Taâlem, he exclusively uses traditional Thai instruments to create rich, organic ambiences with a subtle ethnic tint. The first piece, or "part" of this 3" CD builds from silence to a deep, breathy drone that pins the track together. In the background there shimmers some small pieces of metallic percussion and subdued vocals, which expand the atmosphere; take it away from the heavily processed, almost electronic, drone towards some more "live" sounding and inherently human. All the while, the piece is carried along by a repeating chanter melody that evokes the kind of romantic Oriental images that we find sewn into the prose of William Beckford and the Arabian Nights. As the composition unravels, the drone segues to the faint harmonic tone of resonating bells as they knell the track's closing. The second part of "Lanna Memories" finds Nimh no longer rooted in drones and moving towards the realm of processed acoustic sounds. A small chime melody plays softly in the distance, then slowly builds through the addition of delays and further layers of sound into a almost rhythmic clamour. The track then erupts with a snare drum roll and burst of chanters into a small journey through the Orient - voices circle all around us, while the lushly captured instrumentation maintains the loose, atmospheric vibe, which cannot fail to entrance the listener. The closing piece begins with the euphoric sound of the monsoon - a heavy blanket of rain, bringing new life and prosperity - the music, too, finds rejuvenation as it gallops forward with an upbeat percussion line which drives us on through an ambient noise collage of dissonant instruments, chanting voices and shimmering chimes. It all has a very "found sound" feel to it, as though Verticchio had recorded this straight from the streets of Asia, such is the arrangement and depth of the sounds. This is a beautifully composed EP that flows remarkably well over its 22minutes, never sounding hurried or truncated, yet still giving itself space to evolve and shift through various dynamic phases. It is also refreshing to hear obscure instruments used conventionally in experimental music, as opposed to merely sampling and reducing them to anonymous drones. Highly recommended.
- Gavin Lees - Immanence

Awesome "ghostly" dark drones sustained by ultra mystical vibrations from acoustic "exotic" instruments, from Nimh. Contrary to more "chaotic"/noisy ambient suffs from Nimh ("Subterranean Thoughts" for instance), this album can easily touch and haunt the listener's capacities of listening. "Part 1" starts with a hypnotic, "doom like" drone. A minimal ambience is created, then comes to the distance mysterious Asian melodies for wind instruments, sounding like a shamanic chant. "Part 2" is a gorgeous, posessed symphony for ethnic percussions & bells, voices... a resonant composition for dreamy repetition. "Part 3" starts with an avalanche of noises taken from the natural environnement, including a long linear chord, ceremonial drums... the song carries on a religious chant! Weird, transcendant and ritual communion. This album is quite beautiful despite that is only 25 minutes long. Almost a classic! A must have for fans of early Popol Vuh and Deuter.
- Philippe Blache - Progarchives

In "Lanna Memories" vengono utilizzati soltanto strumenti tradizionali tailandesi e field recordings. La messa a confronto con "Frozen" è utilissima per comprendere l'abilità e la sensibilità dell'autore nel passare dall'utilizzo di strumenti tradizionali, alla rielaborazione-montaggio di registrazioni naturali e a forme di elettronica incontaminata. Ciò che piace in Nimh, e che crea simpatia, è proprio questa sua attitudine che lo porta a comprendere con la giusta sensibilità sia il grande sud che il grande nord, sia una strada di Teheran che un'isola artica; se questa sensibilità fosse patrimonio comune probabilmente nel mondo ci sarebbero meno guai.
- Etero Genio -

Questo Mini, edito dalla francese Taâlem, si discosta dalla proposta espressa da Nimh nel precedente "Line of Fire" più per la forma che non per il concept, il quale rimane invece ancorato ad un forte richiamo all'Oriente. Se le sonorità evocate dal precedente lavoro trasportavano l'ascoltatore fra le sabbie mediorientali, questo "Lanna Memories" si spinge oltre, toccando le lontane terre thailandesi. Il concept, incentrato sui miti di questo Paese, viene rafforzato dall'impiego di strumenti tradizionali, che tendono - alternativamente - a distaccarsi e a fondersi col background elettronico creato dal nostro. In effetti, ciò che tende un filo rosso con "Line of Fire" è l'impiego di drones ampi e sinuosi, che attraversano le tracce modificando progressivamente la propria struttura e fornendo una solida base per la sovrapposizione degli elementi prettamente 'musicali'. Ritroviamo anche i samples d'ambiente che arricchivano le composizioni del lavoro ed esaltavano la forza descrittiva del lavoro, collocando 'visivamente' le vicende narrate. E' necessario attendere l'uscita del nuovo full per identificare pienamente il sound che Nimh sta oculatamente circoscrivendo. Nell'atteso questo Mini va fortemente consigliato a coloro che hanno apprezzato l'electro ambient di "Line of Fire".
- Francesco Gemelli - Musicboom

Also new for me is Nimh, aka Giuseppe Verticchio, who works exclusively with instruments from Thailand, which he processes through effects. The trumpets trough delay sound of course ritualistik, but it's nice music - even for me, the non lover of this kind of stuff.
- Frans De Waard - Vital Weekly