TOM DJLL – Smudge

(Soul On Rice)

“Smudge” presents both a recent and a more dated version of Tom Djll’s work with trumpet, analog synthesis (a Serge, for the record) and digital processing. It’s a delightful collection of mostly spacious ambiences whose adaptation to the context of your listening setting comes pretty easy, yet it’s absolutely far from minimal electronica, as the most static parts are interspersed with multiform emissions and variegated shapes, more evident in the pieces dating from 1988-91, where the synthetic guerillas of tracks like “Exfoliate” nod to the most complex “serious” computer music, a la James Dashow; but Djll’s compositions sound simply more beautiful. Throughout the listening process one can’t help noticing the composer’s modesty, also explicated by the noticeable frequent absence of his main instrument, which is featured only as a sonic shade or to strengthen a juxtaposition of timbres – just another colour in a perennially puzzling anti-tonal rainbow – but almost never in its regular tone. But when you listen to the fantastic changes of scenario of “Split” and to the sting-and-caress alternance of “Patina”, the trumpet is there, ready to transform malformations into reminiscences of a celestial liquefaction.


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