The mind of Piero Umiliani is a thing of never-ending fascination. The man recorded hundreds of albums, from folk to military to bossanova, to ‘switched on’ compilations, to soundtracks for horror, thriller, giallo, romantic, drama, ‘science’ music, ‘background’ music, ‘cosmic’ easy-listening, orcherstral scores and pretty much any other epic music you can possibly imagine. He then worked under the mysterious aliases of Tusco, Rovi, Moggi, to pack in all the library, background and atmospheric music he couldn’t fit into his personal back-catalogue, film music for his own personal mind-films.
Umiliani made five albums as Moggi; the first of which is this very eccentric homage to Einstein. The liner notes tell us, “these tracks don’t go over one minute and half in running time because, as they are rarefied melodic fragments without compositional development, a longer duration would have provoked mere monotony,” whilst adding the “fact they don’t mutate in timbre or in atmosphere makes them more suited for background listening.” Really? Background? Whose background? Whose life? Something between Antonioni’s Red Desert and Godard’s Alphaville? The record variates between electronic washes of crunchy, crickety sounds, unbearably dark glittery chord progressions and broken, ever-twisting patterns. From hellish red to pale-blue tones, from rough and jittery to almost televisual melodic linearity, this is not an album for the background, it’s music that – in 2016, at least – demands to be paid attention to.