You can never be sure from what angle Valerio Cosi is coming from album to album, even track to track. As one of the most talented, innovative, and adaptable players making the rounds these days, each new collaboration comes as a welcomed surprise. This new three-inch from the ever-reliable House of Alchemy offers one of his most gorgeous collaborations to date, this time hooking up with the Solo Joint guitarists to form Amber Lions, a group I can only hope will become a permanent recording unit in the future. If you?ve yet to here of the Solo Joint, they hail from Spain and specialize in group improvisations with acoustic guitars and a spattering of sound effects. The one CD-r I own of from them (on Foxglove) made the group seem a particularly inspired choice of collaborators for Cosi, and this mini-album proves just how sympathetic their sounds can be.
?Pink Panther Blood? is a single, sixteen-minute track, combining a chorus of minimal acoustic guitars provided by the Solo Joint mostly set on monochord strums uninteresting if isolated, but together create a light cloud of notes in which Cosi works his electronic magic. Though the liners list a long arsenal of equipment, all the sounds are given proper restraint. Every element is delicately layered, the vocal loops drawing all sounds into a single, beautiful atmosphere. Then after a brief, moment of slow collapse of all sound about ten-minutes in, a beautiful saxophone loop arises with synthetic bass drones, tinkling guitar notes, and a slow parade of strange sound effects create an intense moment of spine-chilling beauty. Eventually, the mixes becomes louder, more chaotic, more distorted, while the original sounds keep everything grounded until it suddenly drops out around sixteen-minutes and the CD ends. Damn.
For fans of the bliss-out, this little gem will send you tripping into Satori like no other. Cosi fans will surely already be bugging Adam as I write. The last batch from House of Alchemy proves the label to be a taster?s choice compared to the grab bag of CD-r?s and tapes offered by most labels out there. So, you should be collecting now. After hearing this short number, what I need is more Solo Joint material, and more Amber Lions. Solid on every count. 9/10 -- Kenneth Zubiate (24 July, 2007)