June 2013 will be the month of The Exaltics and of their invasion that, instead of being the one of the aliens they have as key theme of their releases, it will be the invasion to the records stores, as this month they have three releases out! Yes, indeed! The project of Robert Witschakowski will have its new album “Das Heise Experiment” out on Abstract Acid, the EP “The Great Escape” on Bunker’s sub label Panzerkreuz and this one I’m about to review, “The Rise And Fall”, on Creme Organization. Containing four new tracks, “The Rise And Fall” EP, is a one side 12″ which on the other side has a beautiful laser etched image. It opens with the intro track “Thought Buzz”, a one minute menacing one based on one arpeggio, pads and bombastic drums. It prepares the ground for “The Place To Be”, a track which mixes acid drums and bass lines with fluctuating pads. With the time it slowly grows and Robert alternates sounds, creating in that way, an evolution of the track keeping it smooth at the same time. The main track follows and it starts with a dark fluctuating atmosphere just to turn into a grinding track that sounds like Godzilla coming to town. “Downer” closes the 12″ sounding like a monster ready to catch its prey: it mixes different powerful bass lines with pounding kicks and effected arpeggios and pads. Great release!
Formed in Genoa in 1979 Scortilla officially released only a 12″ in 1984 which contained their hit “Fahrenheit 451″. That song gathered into one danceable catchy tune, new wave and synthpop influences and brought the band to the attention of the media but that was also the thing that made them disband, because Scortilla were much more than a one catchy single band. In 2006, Pivio, their singer, who now is a movie soundtracks composer, released a CD/DVD compilation about them and watching their performances or only their rehearsals, you realize that they had a huge potential. Influenced by Devo and generally by the post wave sounds, Scortilla’s sound was amazing: they used synths for noises or melodies, sax to enhance the nervous tense atmosphere of certain songs, guitar as a sharp knife, bass like a sensual funky weapon and above all, Pivio’s vocals that was able to give power to their tracks while giving the impression to be about to have a nervous breakdown. They performed different times at the Psycho club in Genoa as well as at the Verona’s arena at the peak of their career. Their live performance was near to art rock and it was an experience to live. This Synthetic Shadows Records album, reissue most of their first tape “Box”, originally released in 1981, “Climax ” recorded live in 1983 and a version of their hit “Fahrenheit 451″ recorded on 1984. That tape contained live and studio tracks recorded in 1981 and since from the first song that opens this record, “Ribellione Programmata”, you can agree with me that their sound was a blast! You can find irony, experimentation, energy and tension, all into one song! This is a release to have, definitely! Scortilla should be gone but they won’t be forgotten…
Artist: I Signori Della Galassia
Label: Medical Records
Active between the end of 70s and the very beginning of the 80s in Italy, I Signori Della Galassia (The Lords Of The Galaxy) were a band coming from Savona, Liguria. Formed by six members Franco Delfino (keyboards, voice), Gigi Mosello (keyboards, voice), Manuel Gustavino (guitar), Bruno Govone (guitar), Sergio Babboni (bass) and Beppe Aleo (drum), recorded two albums: “Qualcosa Si Crea Nulla Si Distrugge” in 1978 and “Iceman” the year after. Their main hit was “Archeopterix”, track released on single with “Vulcano” and released on their second album. This album, thanks to Medical Records, has been reissued after thirty-four years! Originally containing nine tracks, on this new version, the album has eleven tracks (“Luce” and “Eliane” have been released on single in 1980 and they were sounding a bit different from the album’s songs as they were more pop like I Cugini Di Campagna). The music of I Signori Della Galassia is really multifaceted as it gathers elements of 70s space disco (check the opening “Proxyma Centauri”, the particular gipsy melodies of “Oltre Il Cristallo”, “Iceman”, “Archeopterix” or “Tutankhamon”) as well as 70s Italian prog rock (check the beautiful fluid atmospheres and the melodic arpeggios of “Sub”) and 70s Italian pop (see Pooh or Latte E Miele for both). Initially they were seen as the Italian answer to Rockets (do you remember the silver space men coming from France that had different major hits like “On The Road Again”, “Electric Delight” or “Galaxy”?) but their style was also referring to bands like Goblin (see the tracks “Puoi Sentirmi”, “Fermate La Reazione” and “Vulcano” with their dark baroque atmosphere). Using only analog synths, guitars and drum the band created a unique sound which was kinda cinematic and powerful where catchy melodies, great space sounds and inspiration were the key elements. This is a great reissue!
Formed in September 1983, in Cuneo, Italy, Intolerance born when Luca Musso, Marco Marongiu and Paolo Chiotasso met. They were going to the conservatory, to the architecture department and to SMET (Study Of Electronic Music), place founded in 1964 by Enore Zaffiri and this helped them unite as well as creating a theoretic base for their music. With this line-up, they participated to the fist concert held in their surroundings allowed to beginners. Their musical influences were Suicide, Daf, Throbbing Gristle, the 60s/70s German electronic music, composers like Luciano Berio or Stockhausen and new wave / post punk music, but they were also influenced by architecture. After that Paolo left, the band was joined by Raffaella Risso on vocals and with this line-up they started the recordings of their first demo. Using a Roland JX-3P, a Roland Juno-106, a Roland Sh-101 and a Drumatrix TR-606, the band recorded nine tracks, which, thanks to Leonardo Borghese and to his Suoni Dal Profondo Nord label, were released on tape in 1985. Intolerance’s first self named album musically was showing really well the two souls of the combo: melancholic new wave, thanks to Raffaella way of sing and cold German electronic, thanks to the robotic rhythms and cold atmospheres the guys were playing. This side was even enhanced when the guys were also singing replacing Raffaella’s melodic style. About this, songs like “Noradrenalin”, “Terminal State” were influenced by Suicide, while “Arwen” and the closing “Valentines” are more dreamy and melancholic. The story of the band continued with the participation to two fanzine’s compilations (a split tape for Amen and a side of an LP for VM), where the band changed a bit their sound, increasing their fan base. At the end of the 80s they were starting a new life but sadly, few years later, Luca Musso died and Intolerance called it quits. After thirty years, thanks to Synthetic Shadows Records, you’re able to listen to the nine tracks of the first demo and if you love 80s electronics, you won’t be disappointed. You can check three tracks here http://soundcloud.com/armagideon-times
Artist: Magnetica Ars Lab – Maurizio Bianchi / M.B.
Title: LoopKlangeNoise : Verses Without Words
Label: Final Muzik (@)
Limited to 300 copies, “LoopKlangeNoise – Verses Without Words”, is the latest M.B. (a.k.a. Maurizio Bianchi, as I think you all already know) collaboration, this time he teamed up with Magnetica Ars Lab (a.k.a. Arnaldo Pontis). Inspired by the work of Vasilij Kandinskij and by his theories about necessary contamination between visual art and music, “LoopKlangeNoise” quotes two of the most important books from the author’s abstract expressionist years: “Klange” (Munchen, 1912) and “Verses Without Words” (Moscow, 1903). Following the original structure of the book “Verses Without Words” the artists recorded thirteen double-titled tracks, in which the “second title” is an homage to Kandinskij’s thirteen pictorial works originally included on that book. Also, for each track, there’s a guest who participated. We have: Fausto Rossi / Faust’O, Simon Balestrazzi (T.A.C.), Corrado Altieri (Uncodified, Monosonik, Th26), Raimondo Gaviano (Svart1), Mauthausen Orchestra (project of Pierpaolo Zoppo, who died few months ago), Nicola Boari (SLP), Nicola Locci (Exagonal), Massimo Olla (Noisedelik), Alex Nasi (Colonel XS), Roberto Belli (Brigata Stirner), to name few. The visual part of the project is printed in a sixteen page booklet which contains photos of industrial mining areas of the Sulcis region, in Sardinia, shot by Fabrizio Tedde. About the writings, we have excerpts from writings and quotes by John Cage, Klaus Schulze, Wu Ming, William S. Burroughs, Jean Baudrillard, Luigi Russolo, etc. This is an interesting multifaceted project which musically pass from ambient industrial with granular noise inserts (“Deliberate Destruction – Roses”, “Mauthausen Tube – Spectators”, “Neubomio Ghiandula – The Dragon”, “Burning Point – Duel”), to digital electronics with female chants (“Frastimu – Mountain Lake”), passing through industrial jazz with Italian recitative vocals (“American Blues – Old Village”) or experimental percussive sounds with treated vocals and violins (“Blade’s Cities – Eternity”). I really appreciated the tracks that were daring to mix vocals, electronic and other elements a bit more unusual on the industrial standard sound (three/four out of thirteen) and I appreciated the whole result that is offering a theme and other stuff which goes over simple industrial noise.
One half of the Degada Saf duo, Faust Degada a.k.a. Fausto Crocetta, is releasing his first solo album titled “Lux&uria” for CherryNo Music. Four years ago, Fausto released with Degada Saf their comeback album “Without Religions” (see the review and the interview I did back then) and the year after he started producing music for different artistic events such like ‘Human Rights? Art from world’ (for Campana dei Caduti Foundation in Rovereto), video-art by Giordano Rizzardi, the play ‘Rita e Graziella” by Francesco Scarfone and his music was awarded with a second place at the Roma Europa Festival. The project ‘Lux&Uria’ started in 2012 for an International Art Exhibition in S.Giorgio a Cremano (Naples) dedicated to ‘The seven deadly sins’ and, after that, he performed live and now, the album. Containing twelve tracks, the album plays around two concepts: the universal light and the physical being which lives a material life and the different aspects of it. One of them is lust (in Italian: “Lussuria”) which, going beyond any moral concept, is an essential part of life. Just like the multifaceted emotions that lust is able to induce into the human being, this album tries to cover them all by alternating danceable tracks and ambient ones. So, we have blasting drums (now recalling dub rhythms and then i.d.m. ones) and complex sound layers creating a throbbing effect (like “Emma Cipapa” the following “I Step On Your Lines And I’m Wrong” or “She Knows My Way”) alternated to ambient/i.d.m. tracks which sounds a little more experimental compared to the other tunes (it’s the case of “Bapama Punk”, “Bopid Manar” and “Lakaw”) and a mix of both (“Jamspace” or “Gadem”) where we have a sort of house/dub rhythm pattern with ambient atmospheres. There are tracks that sound catchy at the first listening, like “She Knows My Way”, thanks to the use of melody, filtered vocals and powerful sounds, then there are other ones that need more attention and time.
Thanks to George Embrionik who reviewed A New Life tape “Fright Treasures” on CHAIN D.L.K.!
The truth is, that i have been eagerly waiting for the release of FRIGHT TREASURES, the first ‘full length’ album by A NEW LIFE. It is finally out! A limited edition release on tape (along with the digital release, of course), on OTHER VOICES records. The fact that it is available on tape, as well, makes the album even more special and highly collectible.
All the songs on the album have been composed, performed and recorded by Maurizio Pustianaz (the mastermind behind A NEW LIFE) between September 2011 / September 2012, and as the title – and the striking cover artwork (by Oleg Galay) – suggest, we’re in for a deep, dark, often emotional journey.
Right fro the start, it becomes clear that the artist, has no intention of jumping on any bandwagons or following ‘trends’. After playing the album many times i get the feeling that the music making approach and the song constructing process can be described as pure and sincere and the sound ideas, the arrangements of the songs, the vocal performances, are all expertly combined and produced, bringing a sense of sonic unity and a final solid vision of the album, as a whole piece of art.
A NEW LIFE, prefers analogue drums and synthesizers to bring all those dark moments and moods to life, and manages to build up a melancholic vibe that runs through the album. Early 80s synth influences are evident and ever-present on all of the songs, and that only manages to enhance the allure of the album, which by all accounts has a strong sound identity, and an undeniable quality and only leaves the listener wanting more.
For me, FRIGHT TREASURES is one of the best releases of the year.
Artist: Lyke Wake
Title: The Long Last Dream
Label: Final Muzik (@)
Originally released on tape in 1987 for their own Aseptic Noise and then reissued the same year by Misty Circles, Lyke Wake’s “The Long Last Dream” was the fourth release of the project headed by Stefano Di Serio. Each of his releases had as key theme a phrase: “Il disagio di chi si trova in un mondo non suo sapendo che il proprio non esiste” (The uneasiness of who finds themselves into a world which isn’t theirs, knowing that theirs doesn’t exists). Stefano’s music has always been true to this manifesto and to created his own sonic world, he was usual to create long suites where synth pads notes (filtered with reverb, most of the times) were enjoyed by drones, sparse drum beats and synth noises. Check for example the second track of “The Long Last Dream” titled “Non Apparent Silent Activities”: its wobbling sounds and simple melody make feel the listener fluctuating into a primordial matter. Everything sounds like recorded into your own dream world as it sounds distant, distorted and blurred. This first CD reissue released by Final Muzik, contains both the sides of the original tape with the two aforementioned tracks, plus “Terminal”, a track coming from the 1988 split tape with Negativ Person. This track is based on vocal whispers, disturbing hisses and magmatic noises. This does really sounds like the last dream!
Originally released in 2002 by Misty Circles/Runes & Men, in a limited run of 250 copies, Der Feuerkreiner self titled album is available again thanks to SPQR. The new cover is showing a broken/burnt record and maybe it could be a sort of tribute to an early Boyd Rice picture where he was showing himself with a hammer near a pile of smashed records. This reissue contains the eight original tracks (“Die Weste”, “Der Wurfel”, “Die Westkusten”, “Sophie”, “Spiel”, “Der Lattenzaum”, “Oder Schrei” and “Nein!”) remastered, plus three bonuses (“Novembertag” and “Moderne Landschaft” coming from the compilations “Songs From The Bunker” and “Neo Form II” and an untitled one not reported into the track list). The debut album by the duo coming from Recanati, Italy, formed by Federico Flamini (music and vocals) and Valentina Castellani (vocals) is much influenced by martial industrial and industrial compared to their latest album “Unsere Zeit” released by Neuropa and we have bombastic tracks (“Oder Schrei”, “Sophie”, “Novembertag” or the orchestral “Die Westkusten”) alternated to dark ambient/industrial ones (“Der Wurfel”), to industrial noise ones (“Nein!” and “Moderne Landschaft”) or to symphonic in crescendo tunes (like the opening “Die Weste”). The whole album, despite the fact that it was their first one, has already a balanced track list and it was already a good one for the lovers of the genre. This reissue is your chance to discover it…