Femina Faber is the musical vision of Italian musician Paola Bianchi, aided by various guest musicians, whose sound on this, her second full-length album release, is a combination of ambient abstract soundscapes & medieval-flavoured percussion effects topped off by her own angelic voice which is the one constant facet of the album; whatever the music does, there’s always that voice enunciating the Latin lyrics, to make the music her own. This is taken to its logical conclusion by ‘Ne Me Demiseris (Effectio Mystica)’ the a capella opening of which demonstrates her virtuosity in picking out each note while Fausto Balbo’s guitar & ‘mbira makes for quite a rustic track in contrast to the opening version which begins with all manner of abstract effects, like a dark marsh full of unimaginable creatures before it shows its true neofolk colours. The harp of Matteo Zenatti is another important factor in the music, playing host to a host of abstract, wraith-like chords on ‘Amplexum Mentis’ & evoking the artists’ homeland on the closing ‘Tenebrae Undique’ where the notes are sprayed across the soundscape like aural confetti which initially makes for a fairly everyday feel although the sound is mutated slightly as if the view were seen through a distorting mirror. Elsewhere, an assertive guitar riff gives ‘Formae Occultae’ a feel that borders on an offbeat version of country, aided by a more straightforward rhythmic backing while ‘In Mari Flamma’ goes for a more IDM feel in the rhythms while Bianchi’s multi-tracked voice harmonises with itself to set an almost sultry feel. These, however, are no more than flavours of more traditional styles that add spice to the rustic, folky moods of Bianchi’s music, likewise the light breakbeats that scurry away beneath ‘Inter Urticas Rosetum’ while ‘Emitte Spiritum Tuum (Inferium Visio)’ starts with what sounds like the laboured breathing of a huge being & develops into a soundscape of chords, phrased effects & layered voices that once again shows the more atmospheric side of Femina Faber.


With Amplexum Mentis, Femina Faber carry on the path traced four years earlier with the debut album Tumultor. Paola Bianchi keeps her central role in the project, creating and performing all music, and her role as exquisite vocalist is once again exalted by by lyrics sung in Latin. The vibrating vocal work is delightfully laid over musical arrangements that strike a perfect balance between minimalism and textural richness, made mainly of electronic arrangements by the hands of Fausto Balbo, but also further enriched by instruments like harp, guitar, fretless bass and m'bira that contribute a further link to traditional heritage other than the vocals. The electronics are layered subtly and are sapiently interwoven with the other elements, giving life to an seamless blend in which also a few experimental ear-candies find their way deliciously. From rhythm driven tracks to numbers that have a purely mystical flavor, Femina Faber indeed refine the journey started with Tumultor, giving life to an enticing work in which the spirit of the past and of the present fuse themselves in a perfect symbiosis.


Describing the characteristics belonging to the artist Paola Bianchi, who played the solo-project called Femina Faber, is fundamental to highlight its strong propensity to revolt Latin and Gregorian chant, which allowed the composer inclination to obtain significant accolades and awards over the years, as well as the can be integrated into a larger circuit articulate as collaborative in nature and also at concerts- medieval and Renaissance polyphony and contemporary. This, essentially, is the basis of stylistic Paola whose biography mentions in 1998, with Luke Valisi the vocal sections, the militancy in Ludmila platform from multiple genetic minimal-electro-darkwave-ethereal-sacrum 4AD-oriented, through which the musician, at the time used for the bass and drum machine, recorded in 2000 self-released the mini album "unadorned" followed in 2007 by the nine tracks "The First Circle," published by Creative Fields Records label underground. Remarkable also been going commitment to live by the duo with a number of events that enabled Ludmila to be appreciated both at national and European level. The year 2005 was characterized by the foundation instead of Femina Faber, a renewed solo livery worn by Paula and generated from the individual pursuit of Luke in the direction of musical canons adjacent to trip-hop and ethnic; the purpose of the project in question is to make the inseparable interplay between the solemn demeanor of singing texts in Latin and the support of musical electronics but not hegemonic strategically discreet. The discography lists initially conceived by the EP of five tracks with the same title "Femina Faber" developed with the support provided by Andrew Marutti, teacher of Afe Records label, who succeeded in 2008 album "Tumultuor" containing the hypnotic expansions radiated from the dark-ambient-noise chillness spread from industrial and adorned with idyllic vocal modulations. Then we come to the recent "Amplexus Mentis (Ut Cosmo Concordent Voces)," fired from the top albums of elevatura puns Records label headed by Froxeanne of Verona Frozen Autumn, whose tracklist includes ten episodes produced by Femina Faber, arranged by avant-garde composer Fausto Balbo and mastered by him in association with Andrea Garavaglia, drummer of metal band of Italian Mesmerize. A further report on these credits must be duly addressed by the artwork designed by the ensemble of disk Frozen Autumn, or Lace Diego, and Mirco Froxeanne Dean, known by the pseudonym "The Count". The matrix electro-sacral inherent in the creations of the composer made perfect since the opening song, "Ne Me Demiseris", where the slow beating of the drum-programming together with the turbid waves of noises crowning the melodious sweetness of Paola producing a sound load of ancestral charm, distinctive improved through the active collaboration of the two guests during the writing of the track, ie the composer- producer of electro-dubstep music Zenatti A034 and Matthew, an artist specializing nell'arpa diatonic, author also of compositions inspired by sonic Middle Ages, Baroque, the '500 and '900, who with his instrument adds further value to the track. The sinuous movement "Stroke libidinis" mesmerizes the senses through the slow creep of the lyrics and acoustic percussion hinged to shamanic in the procession carried out in cooperation with the experimental electronic musician named Kontakte. The pinches harp developed by Marco Zenatti embellish even the next "Parva Gemma Mea", ethereal song, dominated by electronic minimalism played by bloodless programmed beats and synthetic rarefactions in support of the heavenly song propagated by Paola, everything prior to "In Mari Flame "by which the emission of vocal modulations arabesque singer take hours and embedded between the skeletal appearance of the drum-programming. Listening to "Amplexum Mentis" dreamlike fly equivalent of crystallized white winter landscapes, feelings exacerbated exponentially by the vocals and the whispers of Paola lulled by the eeriness generated by electronic equipment and by ARPA of Matthew Zenatti. The following "Frames of Occultae" converge gloomy scores of low-maneuvered by Luke Valisi, the magic of the arpeggios woven together by Matthew tactics developed by the A034, all punctuated by solemn electronically scans that give physicality to the high treble trills and vocalist. Continue concentrically sinking into the dark waters of "Emitte Spiritum Tuum (Inferum Visio)", a song in which ethereal textures reverberates far left and the chorus of Matthew Zenatti ammantante is the siren song of Paola that the essence of electronic flash. "Ne Me Demiseris (Effectio Mystique) " exposes itself a structure of singing in various aspects due all'ethereal-folk concept expressed by the soft touch of the guitar played by Fausto Balbo who punctuates the song through a vibrating tool idiofono coming from central Africa called 'mbira, followed by the sound beatings in martial drumming of guest-drummer Andrea Garavaglia. The Funds are rhythmic in cold ritramutano splits time through e-beats of "Inter Urticas Rosetum" a track where the liturgy celebrated by singing Paola enchants with carefully orchestrated vocals upward between dark bubbling electronics and the delicacy of the harp caressed by Matthew anticipanti the final solutions "Tenebrae Undique" and the melancholy surrealism it evoked by the simplicity of the singer lying symphonic passionately on a velvet background arpeggio. Experience the entire concept of this album means to explore the depth of feelings in order to grasp the grace and strength in projecting both an abstract oversize singing, nobility and technology. The use of lyrics in Latin expressed even more value to the very meaning of music, designating the same time, this ancient form of expression to which the important role of protagonist Femina Faber, religiously, gives body and renewed splendor, bringing to completion a work which charismatic 'is "Amplexus Mentis (Ut Cosmo Concordent Voces)", reserved for a select audience, aware and mature. The sound is the canvas and Femina Faber is the hand painted with the colors of the immense


“Amplexum Mentis” (which means “Mental Embrace”) is the 2nd full length by Paola Bianchi (previously involved in Ludmila). I never heard of this female artist, but after having heard her 2nd album I’m sure I’ll keep her name in mind. She composed the songs with some help of Fausto Balbo (more active in the experimental scene). Paola performs all the singing as well and it is her voice that for sure is her secret weapon. She likes to sing in Latin, which reminds me of Qntal. She for sure does not have a similar voice although the vocals are pretty good. Musically this composition is quite interesting for the mixture of influences. There’s a kind of merge between medieval inspiration (which is another wink to Qntal) and electronics –sometimes experimental arrangements. It creates a kind of enlightening duality, which in the end sounds adequate and convincing. The idea to hear a project that reminds me of Qntal (and even Dead Can Dance) with some experimental and IDM inspiration behind the sounds is totally unusual. Femina Faber this way seems to exorcize her deepest hidden creative demons. It doesn’t work on all tracks, but there’s enough material on this album to catch your attention. This is the kind of album that will appeal for open-minded electro lovers.