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Review By David Keenan, The Wire

How's this for liminal, for navigating via the cracks: Vito Ricci starts his career as a downtown NYC percussionist, studying with Ornette Colman, playing with Rashied Ali and Byard Lancaster before moving into spoken word performance, work with Kronos Quartet, film scores, theater work and contemporary composition, all while releasing cassettes and a solitary LP that somehow build a bridge, or, as the title of this compilation provides, at least facilitate a crossing between minimalism, electro funk, processed guitar works and hallucinatory dub environs à la Monoton or even Aphex Twin.

Music From Memory, the label that brings us this wideranging and obsessively fascinating collection of Ricci's works, take their name and their curatorial aesthetic from Ricci's 1985 LP, restoring work previously suppressed by cultural vagaries - strange, personal music like Leon Lowman's proto-James Ferraio/Spencer Clark synthesized surf reveries from the early 1980s, or the oddly melancholy disempowered pop of Italy's Gigi Masin. "I'm at that Party Right Now is the strangest track here, altering the way you hear the rest of the music. It's the sound of Ricci's private reverie, a dub-damaged electro funk with fully porn-ified vocals encouraging him to dig himself and blow his mind. An aural narcotic, self-administered, the recording has the feel of samizdat ecstasy, of a private psychedelic reel.

The opening "The Ship Was Sailing" is gorgeous, with hazy, nautical tones à la William Basinsky's A Red Score In Tile Keyed to the hermetic tone dialing of Selected Ambient Works-era Aphex Twin. "Deep Felt Music" is a more contemporary recording, and speaks of Ricci's determined eroticizing of minimalism, replacing Pauline Oliveros's deep listening dictum with depth of feeling, using processed guitar drones and slow sweeps to make hair stand on end and your skin shiver in an eternal, expansive climax. "Riverflow (Electronic)", with its slightly staggered guitar arpeggios and encroaching electronics, comes over as a less selfconsciously arch take on the skewed guitar music of Gastr Del Sol, while "Inferno (Part 1)" is bloody minded in its abuse of FX saturated drum machine, pitching it somewhere between Suicide and El Saturn. This does feel like music from memory, and I Was Crossing A Bridge signals the return of the culturally repressed via the recovery of a history that has all of the uncanny quality of a recollection itself.

- David Keenan, The Wire

"it's too special, it's genius. I felt like touching something precious and super delicate while listening to this double LP.... Read More"

- Sasha Tessio, krossfingers

"...this 18 track double LP release, contains such a dizzying array of musical styles that it's tempting to call him a musical genius"   Read More"

- Kimber (Owain K), Manu (Archeo Recordings), Fx Mchn, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Steve Lee, Giorgio Luceri, Nummer, Juno

"Many of the short pieces could be taken from a library record, describing scenes and moods"   Read More


"Ricci is also blessed with a knack for creating emotive and stirring pieces capable of altering and enhancing moods"   Read More"

- Matt Anniss, JUNO PLUS

"The Ship Was Sailing", speaks to the uncanny timeliness of Ricci's work... The best material on this compilation sounds like it stands outside of time entirely. Unlike linear time, this river flows both ways."   Read More"

- Philip Sherburne, Ptchfork

"The music of Vito Ricci is a stunning re-discovery. Quickly becoming a Downtown NYC legend, Ricci has worked alongside luminaries such as Peter Zummo, Rashied Ali, Byard Lancaster, 'Blue' Gene Tyranny and Yousef Yancey. His work seems to have been a quiet parallel to Arthur Russell's, operating in many similar worlds such as CBGBs punk, avant-composition, jazz improvisation and new age.

Music From Memory, the soundtrack to a radical theatre piece by Matthew Maguire's Creation Company, is a transcendent work for early drum computer and MIDI sequencing. At times elevated and elated, at others ambient and elegiac, sometimes even sounding like dot-matrix no-wave. Truly a masterpiece from start to finish. Soon Redlight Record's sister label named after this very LP will be compiling unreleased works by this unheralded master which will confirm his well deserved throne in the Downtown musical canon."

- Invisible City Editions, BigCartel

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