05 April 2013 (released)
11 July 2013
Like so many artists these days, composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Riccio attempts to disrupt genre barriers and completely perplex categorisers not only from song to song, but also with the variety of deviations within each particular track. The only difference between him and said “many artists” is that his reasons for this alternative style are completely justified and executed as well as can be expected. One minute you may be listening to a song you were sure was Experimental, then it turns into something characteristically metal led by not-so-classical pianos. The song ‘Ranting Prophet’ is a perfect example of Riccio’s unique style of musical collage that is, by his own admission, sometimes a result of complete chance.
The album is very atmospheric and, whilst displaying a healthy proclivity for conventional instrumentation, the synthetically enhanced nature of many of the elements gives the album a psychedelic edge that elevates the listening experience. As well as distorted guitars and warped pianos, there are also industrial sounds, samples from classic songs and effects that phase, grind and zap in and out of songs.
Noticeably, keys that don’t belong beside each other are often used - minors with majors and so on. The album is completely off kilter exuding feelings of melancholia and mind-expansion that complement Riccio’s space rock-style sonic vocal stretches that sound like robotic chants promoting compassion, self-respect, world enlightenment and deeper meanings.
Though the piano is evidently the “security blanket” within ‘Interior City’, the album contains vastly too many layers to expect anything from it. The only thing you should expect is to be blown away by the production values and, as Gabrielle describes himself, a “hallucinatory wall of sound”. From the instrumentation to the ever-changing tempo, anything can transform at a bridge and often does so expect the unexpected really.
In essence, Interior City is a genre splitter completely reorienting conventional production. He’s not trying to be completely outlandish as, despite the sudden changes, his songs still make so much sense and the switches actually work with the lyrics like acts in a story.