Hailing from Italy, Massimo Discepoli began his journey into music in 1990; beginning with the drums and belatedly with piano and self-produced material some sixteen years later. From the evidence of ‘Skymotion’ – his second album recorded under the name of Nheap – the time taken has been carefully spent perfecting his craft.
Opener ‘ab’ travels down a lovely progressive route calling to mind Tortoise’s landmark ‘Millions Now Living Will Never Die’ album. ‘hldrrr’ shuffles along on a nocturnal jazz trip; it would sound like mere noodling but its light percussion and jazzy keyboards blended with wistful ambient backings make it a perfect Sunday morning listen.
There’s only one blot on the copybook as the more experimental ‘Translucent’ test the brain but is ultimately less endearing. ‘Gravitational Assist’ would be cheesy easy listening in lesser hands but the light-fingered melodic skills of Discepoli render all concerns redundant. Meanwhile, the mysterious ‘Panthalassa’ is intriguing and cinematic and ‘Gong’ transforms itself cleverly from Four Tet playfulness to the weirdness of Boards Of Canada.
‘Skymotion’ is a delightfully atmospheric record which combines jazz, post-rock and electronic music into something wonderfully warm and intelligent. An album which contains style and substance in equal measure and it’s free to download until the 30th of October.