Titolo azzeccatissimo per un CD i cui brani possono essere definiti giornalismo sonoro, o meglio fotografia sonora. Il
processo messo in atto da Michi è infatti paragonabile a quello di un fotografo che piazza la macchina su un
cavalletto e programma una serie di pose in loop andando così a sovraincidere più immagini su ogni singolo negativo.
In pratica sono stati utilizzati da Michi un magnetofono privo della testina di cancellazione e una cassetta a ciclo
continuo. Dalle varie registrazioni sono stati poi tagliate e rimontate le parti più confacenti al processo compositivo
e alla sensibilità dell'autore (la paginetta allegata alla confezione spiega il tutto nei minimi dettagli). Prendono così
corpo gli otto brani del CD che illustrano brevi lassi di tempo in altrettanti ambienti: un festival di musica
sperimentale a Monaco di Baviera, il Teatro dei Pupi a Palermo e altre situazioni a Firenze, in Sardegna, in Grecia, in
Sudtirolo e in una piccola stazione ferroviaria della Toscana Orientale. L'autore consiglia di chiudere il ciclo
registrazione - elaborazione - fruizione ascoltando ogni brano come un loop (posso assicurarvi che la cosa funziona
egregiamente) anche se non ritiene determinante il rispetto di tale indicazione. Il supporto contiene anche una
traccia per computer attraverso la quale è possibile scaricare alcuni Sound Reportage che non sono stati inseriti in
questa raccolta. Ad un così alto livello quantitativo corrisponde un livello qualitativo altrettanto valido. Michi riesce
infatti ad affrontare in modo personale e originale un ambito, quello della musica concreta e dei field recordings, in
cui è sempre più difficile dire qualcosa di interessante. Con "Sound Reportage" e con "Dave's Waves" di David First,
recensito nel numero scorso, la Ants si conferma come una delle etichette italiane più interessanti per quanto
riguarda il settore della sperimentazione sonora.
                                                                                        (Etero Genio - Blow Up)

Many are the long and winding roads that one must sometimes travel in search of a rewarding aural experience,
filled as they are with numerous blind alleys and elusive dead-ends. This only serves to make those rare occasions
when you manage to navigate thè maze-like structure of record company publicity and hand-me-down knowledge
somewhat akin to a revelation. After many hours listening to yet more of your standard computer dross, and
countless sleepless nights wondering if I would ever be able to take pleasure in an album again I stumbled across
this Iittle gem.
The gem in question is the work of Francesco Michi, an Italian stallion residing in Firenze, and is the product of
many years labour. Much of its gem-like quality I suspect derives from the fact that before Michi embarked on a
study of electroacoustic composition he paid his dues in the hallowed halls of philosophy. Michi has approached
the sonic problem from many angles including performance, installation and sound sculpture. In 1982 he founded
FORMAT, a group of like-minded Ginos and Ginas driven by the twin prongs of finding creative applications for the
use of technology, especially the Io-fi variety, and the studying of the surrounding acoustic environment.
Much of the spirit of that investigation informs this album. You shouldn’t be put off at all by the clean, white-and-
red Italian racing lines of the cover because what is contained within is dirty, sick and quietly beautiful. You should
also take no notice of the fact that Michi studied electroacoustic composition because the sound here has little in
common with that particular institutional science. With the aid of little more than a cassette recorder minus the
erase head and a Commodore 64, Michi has fashioned a group of 'altered' field recordings that wonderfully capture
the soundscape of certain environments and proves to be true the adage that it isn't the size of your tools that
count, but how you use them.
The recordings here cover a period of five years, mostly made in Italy, but the opening track is from an
experimental music festival in Munich, and the last track was recorded in Greece. Michi likes to think of these
aptly named 'sound reportages' as reflections on memory, in which new experiences can magnify or erase memories
of previous ones, as happens here to the environmental sounds courtesy of the cassette recorder's missing erase
head. With all the overlapping of events I think they could equally be thought of as small musings on the notion of
time and its apparently relentless march forward.
They also just happen to be fantastic snapshots of a time and piace. Indeed 'snapshots' seems to be the best
available metaphor: the tracks are very much like a succession of audible pictures taken of a certain environment,
which are then shuffled about and presented in a somewhat random order. They build up an image of the 'sound' of
their respective environments amazingly well. Sounds overlap, merge, re-appear in the background, and generally
bleed into each other in surprising ways. To add to this confusion Michi reports that for a truly faithful rendition of
the sound reportage experience each track should be listened to as a loop.
The variety of sounds presented here is just too complex to begin to describe, everything imaginable of a
particular environment seems to turn up, although the small snatches of music that squeeze through seem to be a
linking factor of sorts. Everything is bathed in a glorious analogue hiss thanks to Michi's tape recorder that adds its
own layer of filth to events, and makes no apologies for doing so. To think that Michi has conjured up an album of
such richness with the simplest of tools is astounding. With these he has given us a document of more depth than
is normally manifested in the entire careers of many of his lacklustre contemporaries.
                                                                                        (Aron Robertson - The Sound Projector)

ANTS, A New Timeless Sound // experimental record label established in 2001