Devin Sarno is an LA based experimental composer who has been releasing music since the late 80’s / early 90’s. He has collaborated with artists such as Carla Bozulich and Nels Cline as well as sharing stages with the likes of Thurston Moore, Merzbow, Borbetomagus and many more.
“Devin Sarno originally began recording & performing under the name “CRIB” in 1990 as a solo bass project focusing on improvised subsonics. Over time, this music evolved from high volume feedback experimentation to a sonic examination of the meditative properties of low-end drone music. Inspired by the unexpected nature of everyday ambience, as well as the value of silence, Sarno’s sound work embraces the subtle and atmospheric”
His current release “Visitor” is a four-part thirteen minute suite that was recorded and mixed from February to August of this year, with its instrumentation consisting of layered electronics, guitar and found sound.
“Visitor” opens with a flurry of found sound, drones and micro electronics before fading away as quickly as it started. This part is then replacing with buzzing and throbbing electronics with a breathy edge to it. The electronics, presumably a wall of Synths, have an ominous edge to them with a retro sci-fi feel attached to them. The tone changes once snatches of manipulated dialogue enter the fray with glitches providing a sound of broken transmission. As the dialogue is in another language I am unable to decipher what has been said and the context to it is placed in.
Just after the three-minute mark we enter into a drone scape that layers light and dark linear drones with the darker ones being more consistent in the piece and light ones coming through in waves. The music has a tranquility to it. Other sounds like chimes, micro beats, granular sounds start to make their presence known before fading away as the piece leans more towards the darker drones. The final sectioning of the suite brings forth another set of dark drones. This time though the music has more intensity to it and is becoming a swell of sound. Guitar parts become audible for the first time as the sound of the drones becomes murkier. The guitar parts feel like they have one foot in the ambient sphere and another in the improv, with an intention of creating textures within the drones. The last part of the track purely features drones with an alien like feel to them.
After listening I try to bring all the elements heard within the suite to try to bring together some sort of narrative (if there is one). The closest I can come up with is related to the title and the feel of aspects of the track, which would be the “Visitor” be of an alien landing on earth. I could be completely wrong here, I have a feeling that the dialogue could be the key to understanding it a bit more. If you like conceptual pieces with movements and a variety of techniques, “The Visitor” may suit you.