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GOUGING AT YOUR HEART

Ammify
Ammify

AMMIFY
LOST, NOT HIDING

Music for a film? That’s the aspiration.
Music from a film? That’s what they’re hoping for.
But, what about music that is a film?

Ammify is a duo from Perth/Boorloo that comprises vocalist and lyricist, Ammy Phoenix and film maker and musician, Peter Renzullo. According to them, their mission with their debut album, Lost, Not Hiding, was to create music for use in visual media — film, television, advertising. The duo also has the ambition to create a live performance with a full band playing in front of a greenscreen that will show animations created for each song. Kind of like Gorillaz, I guess, but probably nothing like that at all.

I’m not sure. The concepts are top notch, everything you’d expect from Renzullo, who has a knack for creating projects around his collaborators, in this instance Phoenix, that are polished and dripping with texture. But, I don’t know. I’ve listened to the tracks that comprise Lost, Not Hiding for weeks now, every which way, and I haven’t managed to crack them open in a way that’s pleasing to me as a reviewer and that will do them justice. Until now. Now I think I’ve got it.

Lost, Not Hiding is an album written and recorded to be listened to in a cinema, preferably Gold Class in one of those recliner seats. But you need to be alone and all the food service has to stop, no distractions. Once you’re in, you need to close your eyes and just listen. Feel the bass of the piano reverberating through your rump as you settle into your seat. Hear Phoenix’s voice wafting in from the distance and then right up beside you, gouging at your heart. Watch the drums as they skitter through the air like so many winter birds flying north. See the darkness encroaching across the burning sky, clouds turning from grey to pink to black.

That’s how I’ve ended up experiencing Lost, Not Hiding. It’s a feast, first, for the ears, but close your eyes and tune in and the music turns into visuals, the narrative reveals itself and, just like that, a film is made.

I love the ambition that Phoenix and Renzullo have for their project. I want to go to the live show and buy whatever their music is used to advertise, but most of all I want to see the film. It’s dark, disturbing and doesn’t quite resolve. Is there hope in the final, secret, track? Do we even deserve hope given what we’ve done to our home planet? I don’t know, but the more I listen, the more I need to see it.

As for the music, they call it Cinematic Metal. I kind of like that, it drew me in at first, but Lost, Not Hiding is so much more. Phoenix and Renzullo have created a soundscape that is both ambient and all encompassing, fresh and fascinating. The music and the vocals have a fluidity about them that is both solid and elusive, like mercury. The songs glisten and shimmer; if you tried to lock them in a box they’d light up and pulsate seeking freedom, squeezing through the smallest spaces to escape.

Escape to where? I don’t know. There’s a place in my version of the film far distant from where these songs were given life. Maybe they should make the film and put my mind at ease? But wouldn’t it be even more delicious if they left each one of us to sit in a movie theatre — the screen darkened — to make our own? That’s a screening I would like to be at.

Lost Not Hiding is available worldwide on Wormholedeath.
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