Vincenzo Salvia: Atlantis — Speaking generally, I like music with a purpose. I don’t like hearing that my favorite songs just “kind of happened” when the artist was fooling around in the studio. It’s far more satisfying to listen to a track that has some kind of plan, goal or strong inspiration behind it. It’s even better when that idea carries through an entire release.
So it goes with Vincenzo Salvia‘s latest EP Atlantis. His aim is to take us on a strange expedition in search of the sunken city. Thankfully there are no samples of whale songs or other clichés. What we do have is a very direct, tightly assembled group of five songs that distinguish themselves from each other by moving the listener further into the journey.
The first track, ‘Over the Pillars’ delivers us directly to the lost city. Bam, we’re there. No need for a long narrative describing our descent into the forboding depths. It’s not an aggressive track by any means but it pulses with the intense wonder of discovery. Anyone with an overactive imagination can see it: propelling along as broken columns come into view, weaving in and out of coral encrusted statues of ancient gods, and marveling at crumbled temples.
As the second track begins and we’re further into the city. ‘Mermaids’ has a breezy island feel to it, but in my mind we’re still underwater. And yes, I’m thinking of mermaids.What if Atlantis is actually populated with mermaids and we, the listeners are making this happy discovery? ‘Gold and Ivory’ is another light and easy going song as if the aforementioned mermaids offered to give us a tour of their great city that isn’t all ruins and gross looking fish, but a vibrant community of merfolk.
Vincenzo closes out Atlantis with appropriately named tracks ‘Towards the Light’ and ‘Ascent’.It makes us think that we must leave the newly found city, and are saying goodbye to our new friends.A return to some more traditional synth wave is the signature of these final few steps in our journey. The tempo picks up a bit in ‘Ascent’ and is more of an outrun, snare driven track and is definitely my standout pick for this EP, with ‘Mermaids’ being a close second.
Atlantis maintains pretty much the same tempo throughout, which is not to say it’s slow but it’s definitely thoughtful. It reminds me of a lot of space synth tracks that are meticulously constructed voyages to strange places and are intended to give off a heavy sci-fi vibe. The journey in this case, is not up, but down. This is what is most impressive to me about Vincenzo Salvia. The man knows how to get his themes and ideas across. If he wants to make you feel like it’s the summer of ’88, he’s going to do it. And if he wants to take us to the bottom of the ocean, that’s exactly where we’re going to go.
I’d like to see a lengthier release from Vincenzo Salvia, but I also feel like brevity is a strength. Much like Rod Serling, he’s able to tell us a compelling story in under half an hour. Atlantis is a unique trip and one that is worth taking more than once… 9.5/10
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