Personnel: Bruno Sanfilippo (piano, synthesizer, sampler).
Recording information: Onix Studio, Barcelona, Spain (2006).
Photographer: Bruno Sanfilippo.
Argentina-born, Spain-based new age composer Bruno Sanfilippo's ninth album starts unpromisingly with a pair of tracks that fall too heavily into the clichés of his chosen style: the opening "Introworld" has a number of vaguely ethnic-sounding elements, from faux-tribal drums to sorta Native American-sounding flutes, all of them combining into a mushy, indistinct approximation of "world music" one would expect to hear playing in the background of a gift shop in downtown Santa Fe. Following that, the equally uninspired "Intromental" (the incomprehensible semi-punning titles continue through the following five songs as well) is simply eight minutes' worth of droning/pealing synth lines: pretty enough, but nothing that hasn't been done repeatedly. After that, however, Intro develops nicely into a melodic, sonically varied slice of ambient new age comparable to Harold Budd and Virginia Astley. In particular, the two centerpiece tracks "Intropiano" and "Introvoices" (the latter of which sounds directly inspired by part two of Brian Eno's Music for Airports) are genuinely pretty without becoming merely saccharine. Skip the first quarter or so, and Intro has a relaxed, low-key appeal. ~ Stewart Mason