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Heinrich Dressel - Escape From The Hill


Valerio Lombardozzi made a striking impression with his debut “Mons Testaceum” on Danny Wolfers’ Strange Life label last year, mixing selpuchral tales of Roman Archaeology with vivid analogue synthscapes, with an Elka Synthex being used to the fore. As it was one of my favourite albums from 2007, I was enthused by the news of this latest release on Minimal Rome. “Escape from the Hill” leaves immediately from where that finished, building up, like Wolfers, a rich cinematic story behind the music, furthering the adventures of Dressel as he excavates further areas.

Dressel himself was a German archaeologist who carried out pioneering excavations at Monte Testaccio in Rome, and was the discoverer of the Duenos Inscription, one of the oldest surviving pieces of old Latin writing.

There’s no doubt that Lombardozzi is heavily influenced, like Wolfers, by Carpenter and the likes of Tangerine Dream, but he has a very strong melodic gift that is apparent from the start. Unlike the previous album though, this is more rhythmically orientated, with the two outstanding tracks, namely “Escape from the Hill” and “Sailing from Ripa Grande”, being beautifully atmopsheric 110 bpm electro tracks that echo the style of other artists from this particular scene like Unit Black Flight, but with their own idiosyncratic analogue feel to them.

At six tracks in length, this is something of a short LP, but time isn’t important here. There’s a strong sense of melodic development over the entire LP that ends with a flourish on the gorgeous tones of the aforementioned “Sailing from Ripa Grande” and the brooding menace of “The Dark Side”. “Escape from the Hill” adds another impressive album to a label that is growing with some excellent releases and is worthy of your attention, and I await Dressel’s further adventure with anticipation.

Toby Frith

Minimal Rome


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