Artist: Dino Sabatini
Label: Outis Music – Opera series
Format: 2xLP (unmixed) / Digital (unmixed) / CD (mixed)
Cat. #: OutisOpera001LP / OutisOpera001CD
Release Date: April 8th 2016
Choosing the Right Way
It’s My Forest
Just When I Think About You
The Untold Story
If (feat. Antonello Salis)
And it All Ends Here (feat. Antonello Salis)
As both a producer and the helmsman of the Outis Music label, Dino Sabatini has carved out a distinctive musical style that shows a great reverence for both ancient archetypes and future possibilities for change (see, for example, his ‘Mnemosyne’ co-release with Edit Select, in which each track is dedicated to a separate Greek goddess). With one foot planted in a mysterious past and the other foot planted in a world yet to arrive, Sabatini’s works are carefully realized emotional journeys that intertwine shimmers of optimism with undercurrents of poignancy or nostalgia. His latest full-length offering, ‘Omonimo’ (that’s ‘homonym’ for non-speakers of Italian), brings all of this to fruition on a record that demands (and rewards) deep listening.
After a pulsating ‘Foreword’ massages the mind and prepares it for the story that Sabatini is about to tell, ‘Choosing the Right Way’ blankets the listener in a rainy day ambience punctuated with tantalizingly distant vocal refrains and nimble piano. At once solemn and erotic, it sets the pace perfectly for a set of tracks that have a cohesive feel, yet all use their own sonic vocabulary and color palette to tell unique variations on the story. ‘It’s My Forest’, for example, sticks to the reliable trip-hop / mid-tempo framework while introducing quick snatches of tabla and signaling, hovering synth arpeggios. ‘Follow Me’ retains the lush synth pads and cycling percussive loops of that track, and then things take a turn for the slightly darker with ‘The Unexpected’, a sudden uptick in percussive punch and apprehensive intensity. The album’s main, recurring motif of cascading note patterns continues on ‘Just When I Think About You’ and ‘Sometimes Back’, with the former benefitting from a fat, insistent bass synth throb both of these pieces benefitting from the return of tastefully minimal piano accents.
And speaking of piano, the album’s feeling of grandeur truly hits its stride with the assistance of jazz pianist Antonello Salis: on the tracks ‘If’ and the swansong ‘And it All Ends Here’, Salis’ input allows Sabatini’s blossoming arrangements to truly breathe while accommodating his partner’s contemplative presence, culminating in free- floating, luminous wisps of romanticism. Nestling neatly between a number of contemporary genres, and wisely avoiding their fatal clichés, tracks like the Sabatini / Salis collaborations will point listeners forward to a new kind of compositional freedom, and a style that can melt away feelings of pervasive stress without ever silencing the mind’s innate curiosity.