Last year’s cassette, Archival MIDI, from Matthew Pepitone, rang out like part dystopian soundtrack, flowering house and Mod Podge collaged techno. Pepitone, deeply vested in synthesized storytelling, partnered an amalgam of experimental particles against an active stirring atmosphere.
While Archival MIDI’s hour plus run time hit the edge of repetitive, Pepitone’s new digital recording, Homebound, builds from, not on, what precedes it. Unified, and owning a sense of renewal and returning, Homebound is a critical step into the upper stratum of electronic sound shaping.
Starting mid-stride is “Milepost”, a song rich in textural ambience and jarring, muted slams. Pepitone’s careful layering bares pockets of bright symmetries interwoven on rapid, free-form trials. Follow track, “Angel Chorus”, is darker and moodier. The added squelches, flashes, cracks, and hushed processed percussion farm an eerie crop of minimalist house and electronica. “In Effect” plasters soft paranoia through grey indecipherable, glitch-speak; metronome-like beeps tumble with Peptione’s languid, seeping back drones.
The longest track, “Visitor”, fans a distinct techno pulse, but grooves in a way techno can’t. The loops breed leisurely, cymbals clink and drum machines rattle forward. Pepitone’s robotic flares propose an air of mystery, thus bringing the listener back to the foreboding title.
Equally as striking as Pepitone’s craftily compositions is the cover art by J Arthur. Could it be two mouths revealing the moon, possibly a traveling planet, or something being absorbed into a new beginning? Whatever the object, the metaphor orbits true; Pepitone has carried this music within himself for sometime. His intentional musical tangibles present Homebound with something missing in too many electronic-first recordings – form.
In fact, Homebound’s shadowy bulk and 3D roundness, wheelbarrows volume continuously. The lite drone paste holding sounds of touch-tone phones on “Favorite” leak into a myriad of textures on “Heavy Emo Feel”, where Pepitone frames a jungle and industrial sketch of solid melodies, amid crunching light and sublime dark. His heavy pass of ambient-clouded machine gun artillery on “Swift Motion” is subtle, but highly tactile. Closer, “Homebound” glistens and bows as a continual ringing provides an odd entrance of warmth.
Never playing too far ahead or sequestering in a hummable drone, Pepitone’s vision and direction gently tug lines and variables, blending Homebound’s steadied, synthesized structures, into a return to our deepest selves.