Music: Martina Bertoni – Music for Empty Flats (Karlrecords, 2021)

Back in January this year, Cello and electronic artist Martina Bertoni released her newest addition. The Berlin based artist delivers an masterfully crafted experimental ambient/drone record. „Music for Empty Flats“ is a dark toned drone, cello experience.

Martina Bertoni started playing cello at a very young age. Because of her classical music background, Bertoni‘s career soon developed around experimental and film music, where her cello has been featured in many records, soundtracks, awarded movies and tv shows. She also do some collaborations among other artists like Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo and performed at many festivals around the globe.

The spectrum of „Music for Empty Flats“ provides a wide range of acoustic sound, reputation and analog / digital synthesis. The main focus of her solo work is based on deconstructing the releationship with her own instrument. After two EPs back in 2018 and 2019, she released her critically acclaimed full lengh album „All the Ghosts are Gone“ with the reykjavik based label falk in 2020. On her new album Bertoni continues to explore the sonic possibilities of her instruments. Most of her instruments function like a sound source, with adding of reverb, feedback and sub-bass a rich and intense atmosphere arises. The inspiration of the title „Music for Empty Flats“ comes after a trip to Iceland in winter 2020 around christmas. She was inspired by a strange distopian empty space with her favourite music in mind.

The records starts with „Bits“ an ambient toned opener with some drone and background noise. Later on it also catches some industrial noise. The intention is right there at the beginning. „Bright Wood“ on the other hand reflect in some cases the opposite. The cello was one of the prominent element here. Sometimes it feels warm and also a bit gloomy at the same time. It‘s a fine detailed track. „In Circles of Thoughts/Blue Ed“ starts with strings and an pulsing ambient surface. It feels like a distopian area, such an intense feeling. It will followed by the title track „Music for Empty Flats“. Mainly focused on drone, this track is a deep dive in distrotion. Massive from start to finish and the perfect soundtrack for any science fiction movie. Also the last three tracks „Fearless“, „Moving Nature“ and „Distant Tropics“ combines the described techniques in such a perfect way.

„Music for Empty Flats“ is dense and intense on one hand and fragile and sensitive on the other. It‘s a marvelous statement by Martina Bertoni and a highly recommendation by fans of Hildur Guonadottir, Giulio Aldinucci and Lawrence English.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Dominik Scheuring

I'm living and working in Hamburg, Germany. My interests are all about music, movies, and traveling. I also do some typical sport activities like fitness, running and swimming.

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