Marta De Pascalis – Sky Flesh

Marta De Pascalis – Sky Flesh (light-years, 2023)

Marta De Pascalis releasing her latest record ‘Sky Flesh’ on compatriot Caterina Barbieri‘s label is no surprise. As soon as the first notes resound, you are bathed in that same arpeggio lushness. Like Barbieri, De Pascalis also limits her instrumentation to one item this time, the Yamaha CS-60. A leaden, analogue synthesiser from 1977 that, in its limitation, feels like an acoustic instrument. Barely programmable, worthless presets and anything but heat-resistant. An instrument that challenges the user, and De Pascalis was only too happy to feel those beads of sweat trickling down. It leads to mostly short songs where a baroque abundance defines the melodies. In the first three, headed by opening track ‘voXCS60x’, she reveals the reverberating and oscillating malleability of that Yamaha CS-60. After which, on the dreamy ‘Yueqin’, she seems to master the machine in a different way. Exploring and playing exchanged for a wistful composition in which she exposes the soul of the machine. Technology versus the maker. Technology versus emotion. She continues on that momentum with ‘Glider’ and ‘Harmonices Infinity’. To search again for delirium with ‘Commas Light’ and ‘Cut Off Horizon’ between the exuberance of the musical tones she extracts from her machine and the minimalism you’d suspect from De Pascalis. ‘Sky Flesh’ is an album that demands constant attention in all its oscillating generosity. Intrusive but rewarding. And for that, some of the responsibility also lies with closing duo ‘L├ásciati’ and ‘Equal To No Weight At All’. The experimentation and zeal has died down. The sweat gushes off the machine. The upbeat meandering melodies of before are tempered by a harmonic calm. The Pascalis is working towards an end. As refreshing as that first rain shower after an intense heat.

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