"Learning to cheat" reviews

Firetail’s ‘Learning to Cheat’ is an ambient record of absolute hope. Whatever the sound appears to go it remains incurably optimistic. The aural colors of these two songs are so bright it is simply amazing. Experimentation with format, taking a calmer route (for the first track) or a more aggressive approach (for the second track) makes for a unified whole. Both parts work together to complement the other. Put together the result is something to be wondered about in awe. ‘End = Beginning’ takes the mellower approach out of the two tracks. The sound is Post-Rock without the crescendo. Lingering tones make themselves more powerful without the typical release that most ambient rock outfits aim for. Firetail is confident in their ability to display wonder without the need to increase the volume or intensity. On the finale of ‘Floating Around’ Firetail uses a different approach to achieve the same means. Here the Post-Rock leanings receive large dollops of distortion. Reminiscent of shoegaze the sound is particularly blurry. In spite of the initial lack of definition the melody comes together into a particularly satisfying whole. Ambient rock rarely sounds as it does on ‘Learning to Cheat’. Firetail creates a true gem of an EP with these two songs. By cutting out any trace of fat the result is sound that hits straight for the heart. This is an emotional release that feels every single tone to the fullest. ‘Learning to Cheat’ commands respect without saying a word. (Beach sloth)

In fondo non è infrequente che tra uggiose narcolessie cantautorali e malinconici paesaggi ambientali sussista una comune empatia, quando non anche di sonorità. Eppure, non manca di destare una certa sorpresa vedere un artista transitare con nonchalance dall'uno all'altro ambito, in questo caso abbandonando momentaneamente l’ambizioso progetto slow-core minimale Lullabier per dedicarsi a brevi derive ambientali, semplicemente disegnate da riverberi di basso e chitarra. Tali sono le premesse sottostanti Firetail, afasica incarnazione di Andrea Vascellari che, deposto il pathos di scarne note acustiche e testi cantati quasi sottovoce, si lancia in un quarto d’ora di caldi flussi ambientali. “Learning To Cheat” è infatti un breve singolo digitale, ripartito in due tracce di durata quasi eguale: la prima, “End = Beginning”, segue un placido crescendo di suggestioni vaporose, che omaggiano gli Hammock o il Jon DeRosa del primo periodo di Aarktica, mentre la seconda, “Floating Around”, presenta una grana sonora più concreta, brulicante di stille moderatamente rumoriste ma pur sempre aperta a una coinvolgente epica emozionale. Benché l’operazione non sia, appunto, inedita, le prime due tracce firmate Firetail rivelano in maniera piacevole un’altra faccia, non meno apprezzabile, di un artista che finora si era fatto conoscere in una veste almeno superficialmente diversa. (Music won't save you)

Firetail is the one man project of Andrea Vascellari, who is being more known with regard to slowcore project Lullabier that has shared the stage with the likes of Rivulets, Low, Jessica Bailiff, and Boduf Songs. With Firetail he abandons a subdued, austere singer-songwriter concept, instead of it proceeding more extended sonic terrains and still life-induced progressions. Indeed, this 2-track issue is an outstanding one due to the organic bond of glacial-alike gloss, epic guitar overdrives and moody hiss washes and slow burning. The listener can feel himself/herself like standing alone on the shore at a remote distance of the civilization. Superb. (Recent Music Heroes)

Italian project FIRETAIL is the creative vehicle of Andrea Vascellari, which he use for crafting music rather different to what he otherwise does as Lullabier. “Learning to Cheat” is the debut EP by this project, and was released as a free download by US label Silber Records in 2013. For connoisseurs of good sound, the artist does sell higher quality versions of this EP on Bandcamp. The free version on Silber Records are limited to mp3′s of 128 Kb quality. The two tracks on this EP, one a bit less and one a bit more than 8 minutes long, are both of a fairly similar nature. Ambient, cinematic creations that invites to associations with the sea. End = Beginning builds and ends slowly, and contains a dark drone or resonance with smooth, gentle textured guitar and reverb constructions wash in lakes wave on the shore, with occasional surges soaring upwards. A pleasant and inviting construction, easy on the ears and mind both. Concluding construction Floating Around sports a sampled undercurrent of waves washing on to the shore, with slow surges of guitar and reverb constructions slowly washing in and disrupting into a jittery drone like sound that slowly fades out, creating a soundscape of fairly constant surges and a jittery dronelike texture all present in a delicate, careful manner. A pleasant and soothing creation that should attract the attention of fans of ambient music in general I guess, and one that arguably will have it’s key audience among fans of ambient post rock. (House of prog)