Synthetic ambient and meditative chill. Living At A Higher Frequency is a delicate collection of instrumental tracks that range from subtle ambient groove, through drifting downtempo into light electronica. Most tracks are built around intriguingly airy programmed beats that edge somewhat toward glitch at times with percussive structures that combine sequential tones and inventive electro-hits. The rhythms are generally restful and serene and woven densely into the music. The melodic forms on the album are understated affairs, yet often these are quite, quite beautiful and inspiring. There is a sparse oriental elegance to much of the music, a poetic restraint and sense of wonder with effective use of sonic texturing, and fragile pads and washes. Far Eastern sounds sometimes arise among the electronic cleanliness with a slightly haunting effect (I'm reminded a little of some of the sounds used on Japan's Tin Drum album). Very contemporary and cinematic yet with just enough of that appealing timelessness that helps a recording to endure.
"Living At A Higher Frequency" is an introduction of Julio Di Benedetto's music released on his own Digital Voices imprint at the end of 2008. It's quite unusual when artist debuts with 2CD album, and on the top of that, packaged in beautifully looking and decently designed 6-panel digipak. Applause for Julio (and Taylor Deupree for design)!!! Yes, the artwork is really nice and perfectly portraits the music of this Florida based artist on this double CD, which were recorded during the period of years 2001-2006, they follow liner timeline as mentioned by Julio and are reflecting various stages of his life, including the passing of Julio's mother, who the cd is dedicated to. Thus the compositions are moving across the wider range of diversity, from mid-paced electronica (for example "Forest, River, Sky", "A Point On The Horizon", "Open Your Eyes", "Lifewave", "Here & Now"...) through semi-melodious space washes ("Waveland", "Carbon", "Inscape" or "Living Each Breath") to euphorically breathing compositions ("Back To Center", "Inner Departure", "Thinking Of You Surrounded By Light", "Writing On Water"...), and from minimal experiments ("Ryokan") to kind of eclectic downtempos ("Aquamarine" and "Moving On"). I think Julio excels the most in more dynamic and melodious compositions, even if always keeping them crystalline, fragile, gentle and tranquilizing. From this range I would also pick up my favourite pieces, which include real standouts like "Back To Center", "Thinking Of You Surrounded By Light" or "Writing On Water", all based on catchy pulses, but also "Inscape", "Living Each Breath" or "Here & Now", which are rather more emotionally driven. If you like your ambience pure electronic with percussions and more active, don't hesitate to taste this double CD, which, according to me, remains undeservingly unrecognized by wider ambient audience. So act now, because "Living At A Higher Frequency" is a very strong debut!!! And I will make sure to stay tuned for all future offerings by Julio Di Benedetto.
Richard Gürtler (Aug 28, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)
released August 11, 2009
All tracks composed, performed and recorded by Julio Di Benedetto
at dVFb studios between 2001-2006 using a selection of
synthesizers and software...
Roland Alpha Juno & V-Drums / Korg Wavestation / Waldorf Micro Q / Alesis Andromeda / Serge Modular / Moog Source / Logic / Native Instruments Reaktor & Battery / Hartmann Neuron VS
Mixed by Julio Di Benedetto June - July 2008
Design: Taylor Deupree
Photography: Julio Di Benedetto
Mastering: Carl Saff
Thanks to Remy Gravel for producing (*)
and being a guiding light from near and far.