Musician and composer Louis Siciliano returns with his latest release entitled Ancient Cosmic Truth. The four song EP features a stellar cast of supporting musicians such as trumpet player Randy Brecker, tenor saxophonist Umberto Muselli, former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuna, and drummer Claudio Romano. This impressive lineup plays exceptionally well with Siciliano’s customary assortment of synthesizer sounds. The material sports several “improbable” titles that aren’t readily understood, but there’s no need to understand them. The compositions are thoroughly comprehensible, condensed, and eschew flights of fancy. Instead, melody grounds each of the tracks and this commitment to fundamentals ensures the material will find an appreciative audience.
Tracks such as the opener will ensure that. “Bambara’s Symmetries” wastes no time making an impact on listeners. The introduction highlights Siciliano’s superb synthesizer playing alongside compelling percussion. There’s a lot packed into a relatively brief package once the song takes full flight and, despite its relatively short running time, Siciliano and his collaborators deliver more during the song’s duration than many ensembles give us in much lengthier pieces. It is our first introduction to the EP’s outstanding production values, as well. Clarity and instrumental separation are paramount.
“Translucent Dodecahedron” is by far the EP’s “wildest” moment. Siciliano unleashes the full breadth of his creativity to make this one work, but the key melody is strong and hooks listeners into the song’s world. Siciliano’s synthesizer playing shines brighter than ever during this performance, but each of the five musicians acquit themselves well. Many of the EP tracks feature impressive twists and turns manifesting themselves as tempo shifts and textural variations. “Translucent Dodecahedron” is a sterling example of this in action.
“The Secret of Mansa”, however, represents a turn in a different direction. Siciliano and his fellow musicians change gears into a softer and more considered performance, but marks of their previous performances are abundant. There’s a clear theme underlying the track, as evidenced by its opening, and the musicians develop that idea through several evocative changes. Brecker and Muselli play much more prominent roles in the final result than they do in other tracks, though it by no means diminishes their work during those performances, and their contributions to this track place a crowning touch on the cut.
The title song vies with the aforementioned “Translucent Dodecahedron” as one of the EP’s most forceful moments. The drumming and percussion are especially on point during this song and the head-long push they provide the arrangement propels the track to heights it might have otherwise not reached. They display striking confidence. It features, as well, many of the same twists and turns mentioned earlier in the review without ever veering off course. Louis Siciliano’s Ancient Cosmic Truth burns with inspired fire from the first track onward and the unquestionably high musicianship will likely knock you back on your heels. It’s well worth your time and dollars, but, moreover, you’ll find yourself coming back to listen again. Seek this out today; you won’t regret it.