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Umberto – Helpless Spectator


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SKU: THRILL495LP Category:


Umberto is an artist whose work is distinctly cinematic.

Composer Matt Hill’s performances and delicate

compositions taken together have the cumulative ability to


 Hill, whose Umberto moniker is an homage to director

Umberto Lenzi, is an experienced and active film

composer, most recently scoring the film ‘All That We

Destroy’. In addition to film and commercial work,

Umberto has released a number of lauded solo recordings.

 On Umberto’s Thrill Jockey debut ‘Helpless Spectator’, his

haunting music is otherworldly and affecting alike, leaving

the listener with an unsettling and profound air of mystery.

 Umberto’s early recordings harken back to classic synthdriven

sci-fi and horror soundtracks. ‘Helpless Spectator’

uses synthesizers in an entirely different manner. Cold,

looming monolith tones are now warm, softer pads that

envelope the listener while guitar, cello, banjo and pedal

steel add movement and light. Still, Hill unsettles with his

arrangements and melodic phrasing. Unexpected shifts

and turns in even the most tender movements of ‘Helpless

Spectator’ are inflected with a contemplative melancholy

and fragility.

 Umberto makes masterful use of varied textures

throughout the album, blending supernatural effects and

grounded instruments to create distinct atmospheres.

‘Helpless Spectator’ is inquisitive and moving in equal

measure, an album of sombre elegance and delicate

arrangements whose cumulative effect of unease is

entirely unexpected.

 LP pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with free digital

download card.


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