The term “ambient” gets batted around quite a bit in electronic music, whether it’s to describe background sound design, a certain style of synth or melody or even the mood of a piece. There is, however, still a pretty strong self-defining ambient genre within electronica, though artists’ adherence to that format seems to be in varying degrees. On one end of the spectrum is meditation music or new age work that’s largely beatless and meant for relaxation. On the other end are acts like Moby, Enigma and Bonobo, who have added EDM bits to their work to create more pop cachet. Somewhere it the middle of that spectrum is where Gianfranco Finds himself.
Rather than releasing a long-play album as he did with his first endeavor in 2014, the indie-electronica fusion album Love Is Rain, Pescetti took a page from the current streaming and playlist culture’s book and decided to release his new string of tracks one by one, starting in January with the synthy, new wave-tinged “Sundog.” With this track and the ensuing works, “Clownspunk,” a cheeky electronica cover of “Fly Me to the Moon” and his latest, “The Wake,” Pescetti seems to have ditched the more indie side of things (as well as his vocals, for now) and become a full-time ambient EDM artist.
There’s still a good glug of vintage synth and tune work in these new tracks, but for now, it looks like Pescetti intendss to explore the depths of ambient music, especially with “The Wake.”
In writing “The Wake,” I sought out to create an instrumental piece that explores the theme of melancholy for a time past, death, and new beginnings. The title has a dual meaning, referring to both the practice of mourning and the path left behind by a boat, a symbol of movement and progress
If a double meaning in an instrumental piece doesn’t point to ambient and experimental, we’re not really sure what does. It’s interesting that while Pescetti has removed some elements from his latest work, it seems he’s actually stretching his wings and giving himself more space for playing with sound in his production at the same time. He uses his bass-playing skills to add to the opening string melody and then folds both into the ensuing beat and synthwork. The result is seamless, dreamy, and very much in line with the likes of some of the most famous ambient artists.
This new, experimental work seems to incorporate all Pescetti’s favorite parts of his previous work whilst moving onwards and upwards. It’s progress, indeed, and it will be interesting to see where Pescetti goes with his next tracks. He seems to have found an excellent new sound in “the wake” of his older work.
“The Wake” and the rest of Gianfranco Pescetti’s discography is available to stream on Spotify and to purchase on Bandcamp.