Planeteria by Chris IanuzziRelease date: June 15, 2020
Label: Satellite Symphonics
Artists who have formal (classical) music training and express themselves mainly through electronic music can often take strange routes. Of course, those routes wouldn’t be called strange if they did not lead to some strange destinations, good or bad. New York composer/songwriter Chris Ianuzzi is certainly among those. For example, at his performance for the American Society for University Composers he played the piano using a chisel, rubber wedge, and an ARP 2600. At the same time, he also worked with the likes of Vangelis and Tangerine Dream’s Peter Baumann and was an electronic creative associate of Suzanne Cianni.
So what of all this can we hear on Ianuzzi’s latest release, Planeteria? Well, practically all of it. Maybe even that chisel and the rubber wedge, along with a few other (suspected) things.
As many would suspect from the album’s title, Ianuzzi is among those electronic music artists that want to take us on a ride through space. Luckily, instead of taking a static approach in which he would concentrate either on an ambient, ‘space’ mood, or setting up a barrage of beats or unexpected sounds, Ianuzzi actually, employs all of those.
This could be a very dangerous artistic tactic if a) you don’t have an abundance of (musical) imagination); b) don’t really know what you’re doing, i.e. electronic music and instruments are as much a mystery to you as to any of everyday listeners.
Luckily, Ianuzzi has both plenty of imagination and extensive and detailed knowledge of electronic music to be able to pull it off here. Maybe like a real ride through space, you are never sure what is coming up next – a plaintive solitude or some intrusive bleep (comet?) or even a true (musical) black hole. In this manner, on Planeteria, Ianuzzi is able to keep his listeners alert throughout and has succeeded where many other electronic artists have failed – take his listeners for a space ride.