Commodity Place
Multifrequency Behaviour
Of High Energy Cosmic Sources





Prone to drone alone in Rome, this is the nefarious task of synthesist and programmer Massimiliano Loretucci and guitarist/percussionist Riccardo Frosoni who form the duo of Commodity Place. Their expertise is the invention and maintenance of beautifully luminous Space Ambient works, and so Ivo D’Antoni features these guys a second time (after their inclusion on 2012’s The Power Of Movement In Plants EP) on his label and releases their two-track work on 12", available to purchase at all good stockists and streamable in preview form at SoundCloud. Originally produced in 2013 and released in January 2014, the name of this EP is unsurprisingly mentioned above, but is too good and somewhat flamboyant to not mention it here again: Multifrequency Behaviour Of High Energy Cosmic Sources. Torn between scientific methodology and prosaic reveries, this two-parter is a pipe dream spanning a universe of your choice and realized via diffusive synths, partially histrionic micro events and even the occasional fugacity-plagued beat pattern. Krautrock allusions, vestibules to planets where Rave is consumed on an hourly basis and virtual passageways to synth sybaritism grace the two movements, even though they both have their particular endemics and own characteristic traits. The Space Ambient field is an overcrowded niche, a curious remark in the given context of its setting about the vast emptiness of the universe, but alas, this is the case here. While you are reading this sentence, hundreds of bedroom producers and prolific studio owners create their own visions of space travels. This is not ludicrous at all. It offers the listener a kaleidoscope of different productions and aesthetics, but makes it admittedly harder for those artists who bask in stardust to come up with a habitable planet where listeners want to stay for a longer time. Can the Roman duo Commodity Place terraform such a locale, and what are the stylistic particularities and peculiarities of their two compositions?


And off the duo ventures into space with the eponymous track that lent the EP its sesquipedalian prosody. Right from the get-go, Loretucci and Frosoni unite two forces that are actually antagonistic and absorbed from two different schools of thoughts: whereas the synth cloudlets in the background are of the utmost ethereal yet aeriform and even fragile kind, the buzzing electric current of the guitar placenta scythes through this beguiling phantasmagoria like a spoilsport, embodying a raucous rawness while insinuating danger and boundaries that should not be crossed. Adjacent wind gusts that multiplex organic nebulae and brazen brakes of stopping trains flow in the distance, only partially veneering the undulation of the sound-based equilibria. Commodity Place are perfectly capable of truly balancing out the tumular incident and create a stream of consciousness that is much more rectilineal and wondrously silkened than frantically callisthenic. Three minutes into the track, the languorous lachrymosity sees two further particles added to its endemics: a yearning melody of seraphic space whales on the one hand, and Rave-evoking cosmic blebs on the other. An equally angelic faux-voice alloys the melancholia, coruscating in luminous color ranges as the amount of layers gently increases, making the long-winded track positively feisty without destroying its enigmatic physiognomy. During its final stages, galactic wind gusts fizzle through the elysium in tandem with softly oscillating texture entanglements before the cauterized afterglow of raspy dark matter expanses kisses the auroral totality goodbye.


Side B injects a counterbalance into the universe, one which is said to having been there all along. The track title Ahura Mazdà does not sound overly prosaic, but its meaning derives from the Sanskrit conception of God. If God is ruled out for whatever reason, fear not, for ahura means light and mazdà translates to wisdom. The transmutation of these metaphysical spirits into sound is maintained in an altered manner, at least in comparison to side A, and probably differs from the outlook of such an endeavor. In lieu of revving up both the synths and guitars and instead of wadding them in rich alluvial alloys, Commodity Place put on their sunglasses and watch a – hopefully distant – supernova on an intergalactic highway. The initial liftoff of the behemoth of 12+ minutes may indeed allude to the same ingredients due to the argentine stardust flume that quivers and gyres in the background, but as soon as the delicately arpeggiated six-note pad aorta is erected, the track’s diaphanous illumination encounters a rhythmic base frame whose infinitesimally club-compatible gestalt proposes a mundane or rather terrestrial vestige of customs. Or in short: you may dance. Movement is suggested by an adjuvant in the form of a mellow 4/4 beat placed in the center of the mix. The intertwinement of the mucoid-moist arpeggio spirals, the orderly beat and the further inclusion of zoetropic electric guitar sparks make Ahura Mazdà a strikingly blotchy and pointillistic Ambient affair. Legato synth serpentines continue to float, but the fusillades of driblets, specks and dots in the forefront demand all the attention they can get. Some of Riccardo Frosoni’s envisioned guitar chords are a tad too cool and guttersnipe-resemblant, killing off some of the spacy molecules that make up this simulation, but they do serve an important point, as they demystify and decipher the pompous solemnity of this place of all places within places. Literally no commodity place at all, Ahura Mazdà by Commodity Place ends the way it began: with an arpeggio galore and an alatoric endpoint.


An aural case study of those, er, things and that strange stuff out there, Commodity Place’s Multifrequency Behaviour Of High Energy Cosmic Sources delineates two differing takes on the tohubohu in, around and from outer space, fathoms the interdependencies of the sound waves (hint: there are none) and then transfigures their traces into shooting stars, now audible to the human ear qua their glorified appearance. The title piece is Space Ambient par excellence, and due to its particular state of existence cannot protrude the crowded field in any remarkable boost of unchainment, although fans of the genre will undoubtedly absorb the surfaces, patterns and textures as well as their whirling constituents. But even listeners who only occasionally traverse past the troposphere ought to be enchanted by the gaseous vivacity and gradual cinematic placidity of this event. Side B, meanwhile, offers doubtful listeners some planetary dust to chew on and is specifically written with the dance-hungry crowd of the label in mind. The softened beats and their ephemeral impetus notwithstanding, Ahura Mazdà remains a clear-cut Ambient track whose arpeggiated shape is tastefully antediluvian and reminds of early 90’s experiments released on R & S Records or their subsidiary Apollo. It comes down to this: listeners who roll their eyes the very minute they are confronted with Space Ambient will probably avoid this EP in the first place, as front artwork, title and the duo’s background make it crystal clear that this is a colorful yet serious genre satellite. If this is what you are searching for, Commodity Place deliver big time. Two times, that is.


Further listening and reading:

  • You can purchase the album at various stockists such as Juno or Red Eye Records
  • is using Twitter: @electronique_it.


Ambient Review 323: Commodity Place – Multifrequency Behaviour Of High Energy Cosmic Sources (2013). Originally published on Mar. 12, 2014 at