Prepare yourself for a journey. Louis Siciliano’s new effort Ancient Cosmic Truth doesn’t settle for simple performance but, instead, looks to push the boundaries of his musical art into uncharted territory. The four song collection of instrumentals doesn’t shy away from challenging material, but it’s notable how adroitly Siciliano and his collaborators balance the demanding with the inviting. Melodies abound over the course of the four tracks, though Siciliano never presents them in a manner causal fans are accustomed to. Instead, he pushes the envelope with a bevy of unexpected turns, unusual textures, and themes far removed from the pop world. This is a journey, not a pop confection.
“Bambara’s Symmetries” is Ancient Cosmic Truth’s shortest song, but a definite tone setter. Drummer Claudio Romano and percussionist Alex Acuna are crucial components of this release, and they play pivotal roles during this track. They lay down a melodic groove Siciliano’s synthesizer playing counterpoints soon after opening and his melodic response builds “Bambara’s Symmetries” into a full-throated “thesis” of a kind for all that follows.
Acuna and Siciliano open the second track “Translucent Dodecahedron”. The former punctuates the latter’s contributions with interesting rhythms carrying listeners into the track. Siciliano’s playing sets a near-ominous tone as the song begins. The track, on the whole, provides Ancient Cosmic Truth with its best example of Siciliano’s cinematic style. It is not difficult imagining this song working well in a well-chosen film. None of the compositions are lengthy. Going into a release such as this, it is easy to assume that his ambitions translate into 10+ minute long tracks, but that isn’t the case. Concision is one of Ancient Cosmic Truth’s core values and helps make for a better release overall.
“The Secret of Mansa” starts off with some light sound fx, oceanic in nature, that set the stage for everything that follows. Brass plays a much more important role during this track courtesy of Umberto Muselli’s tenor sax and Randy Brecker’s trumpet. The dual percussion of Acuna and drummer Claudio Romano, however, continues exerting tremendous influence on the music’s trajectory. It is more meditative, however, while still comporting itself along the same lines as the other tracks. Brecker and Muselli are the cornerstones for this cut.
The finale “Ancient Cosmic Truth” brings the release to a memorable conclusion. It is the only track on the EP to utilize the human voice in any manner and the onrush of vocals at the song’s outset may take some listeners off-guard. It is an important contribution to the performance, however, and helps set it apart from the other tracks. Romano and Acuna are, for a final time, critical cogs in the song’s machinery and deliver arguably their most propulsive outing yet. It’s a final emphatic exploration of the terrain laid out during the opening track without succumbing to any pretension. Louis Siciliano’s Ancient Cosmic Truth dares musical moves that few others would consider and succeeds at a level you wouldn’t expect. It’s well worth checking out today.
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