Recently I received this split MCD with Magnetica Ars Lab, project headed by Arnaldo Pontis, and DK5600, duo coming from Trieste (so both Italians). It is a limited item which is part of the Final Muzik’s CD Singles Club. Let’s start with Magnetica Ars Lab, who with “Ground Control” are really walking on a dangerous area, because making a sort of Bowie’s cover without trying to make one it’s a really difficult target. In this case, I’m sorry to say that while I appreciate the cold ambient background atmosphere created, I didn’t like the vocals at all, because there’s the attempt to follow a little the original melody without doing it and this is the tricky part: or you’re really good at it, or you don’t do it, because doing that, the people will compare this version with the original. In my humble opinion it would have been much better a reading or a filtered voice not attempting to do any melody at all or a different melody with also a different metric. About DK5600, you read about them here some time ago when I reviewed their debut album “Distanza Katrias 5600”. They are here with two tracks: “Punto Zero” and “Uscire Dallo Spazio Curvo”. The first one is a cosmic pulsating track which brings you on board of a lost spaceship. There, you hear a voice which seems to come from the central computer. The effect is really good and the long melodic drones and the bleepy effects are really good too. On the second track, we have the same kind of processed vocals with the add of an anxious breathing with a great synth glacial ambient background. The sound is really sharp and detailed. Two really nice tracks.
It’s always hard to define or getting into to a new Athana album deeply and being able to write a review after few times you listened to it. For sure I could mention the fact that sometimes it reminded me the twenty years old Sylvian / Fripp collaboration, even if “Invisible Colors” is more dark and multifaceted. Maybe I could mention that its free spirit is able to bring you at the edge of different musical worlds that you can call: progressive, experimental, free jazz, fusion. Into this worlds you can hear the guitar gently weeping or crying out loud its pain helped out by the other instruments that sometimes create a spacey ambience (like on “The Elders Too”) and then a strong energetic background (like on the opening “So Obvious”). I could mention also that for this album Alf collaborated with great musicians such as: Stewart Copeland, Gary Husband, Ivar Kolve , Giovanni Apprendi, Christian Hovda, Astrid Kloster, Tor Yttredal plus the guys of the band Torgeir Nes og Øyvind Grong. Sure, I could do that, but I’m note sure if I could give to you readers the right feeling I had. The forty one minutes of the album are able to catch you for the whole length if you give to the music the right attention, as well as leaving you indifferent if you don’t give to it the right time and the right approach. For this reason I asked help to Alt Terje Hana and decided to make of this half review and half small interview.
Here’s to you Alf Terje Hana…
On this album there is a dark underlying tone…the world situation is really going in the wrong direction and it makes me sad.
I also tried to bring in a bit from my early inspirations from the seventies: prog, heavy and all that (Gentle Giant, Zappa, Weather Reports).
Every song has an extra dimension. “Silent Warrior” is my take on looking out from the inside of the helmet of the “Mountain” in Game Of Thrones, or similar war guys. “The Elder Too”, it’s me going to an elderly home twice a week for two years, where my father staid until he died on May this year. I learned to respect the old people sitting there, with lots of stories and experience to tell. You can feel the timeline ticking away. It’s also a bit inspired by Weather Reports.
Also I was so lucky to get both Gary Husband, and Stewart Copeland to join in (I´m by the way being invited by Gary to join his new project Gay Husband´s Trackers as his guitar player). “Berlin Spheres”, is a result of a week in Berlin, just hanging and absorbing atmosphere. “Sea Of Change” is a cry for new directions to survive the insane leaders, that just care for ego and money. I tried to put in the call from the siren of the sea, that lures the ships to wreckage. Hope this will make it easier to understand my mysterious ways…
At this point, I think that you’ll have all the informations you need to get into “Invisible Colors” and digging it as much as I did.
Artist: Empire State Human
Title: Christmas Long Gone
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
With the 2014 release of the album “The Dark”, I thought that Empire State Human finished their adventure. Aidan Casserly after that album kept himself busy releasing tons of great music under different monikers like Glass Dancer, Ferrochrome, KuBo or his own name, to name a few. With “Christmas Long Gone”, Empire State Human are back with four “new” songs plus a fifth one available only on the CD version. It’s not clear to me if Lar is still a band member or if now Aidan is taking care of everything but I can say that the new EP has the same quality of the previous releases. The opening “Christmas Long Gone” is a new version of a track they gave for free some years ago and this version is melancholic but also powerful: the wobbling bass empower the structure while the rarefied atmosphere we find on some moments, help the creation of a melancholic aurea that works as counterpart. The other four songs are instrumentals that sound like an hybrid from the old synthpop E.S.H. songs and the tense ambient soundtracks that Aidan wrote during the last few years. This effect is more evident on the mid tempo “Fathoms” and on the spacey quasi ambient “Solar Trips”. This is the nineteenth of Banoffeesound, a label that begun to release music only the last year but that have already got the attention of synthpop music lovers.
E’ partita la campagna di crowdfunding per la produzione del doppio DVD di “Solchi Sperimentali Italia”.
Partecipare alla campagna sarà il SOLO modo di avere il doppio DVD ed inoltre aiuterà concretamente la diffusione della musica sperimentale italiana.
Sono inoltre disponibili diverse “ricompense” e se volete aprofittare delle offerte proposte, potrete acquistare anche il libro “Solchi Sperimentali Italia”, CD dei Nihil Project, altri titoli della Crac, etc
Avete due mesi di tempo per partecipare alla raccolta.
Gerstein, ovviamente, è uno dei nomi coinvolti nella operazione.
Marcello Ambrosini just wrote a book (in Italian language) about the 80s post industrial Italian bands.
Gerstein is one of them and you can find some pages about my project along with many others.
The book has been published by Goodfellas/Spittle and it contains also a CD with nine tracks.
Here’s the description in Italian:
“Il movimento postindustriale ha messo in musica l’amore-odio che l’uomo prova nei confronti dei tempi moderni. In questo libro, per la prima volta si affronta in modo esaustivo un argomento in gran parte ancora oscuro, forse l’ultimo baluardo carbonaro della musica di confine che conta. La scena post-industriale italiana, nata all’inizio degli anni ’80, è stata una della più creative e vivaci dell’intero panorama europeo. Officine Schwartz, CCC CNC NCN, F:A.R, Giardini di Marzo, Mauthausen Orchestra, Rosemary’s Baby, Thelema e T.A.C. sono solo alcuni dei protagonisti italiani citati da Marcello Ambrosini nel suo ‘Post-Industriale – La scena italiana degli anni ’80’.”
On October the 26th and 28th I played under my own name (Maurizio Pustianaz) at an experimental multimedia mini festival called F.I.A.T.O. which has been held in Turin, Italy at the Dr Sax club.
On the last day, I improvised on keyboards with: Francesco Partipilo (Sax), Mario Benassai (trumpet), Alberto Gariglio (bass guitar), Aurelio Marsiglia (sax), Dana Bossù/Luca Atzori/Fabio Favetta (vocals)
On this video shot by Alessandra Kornmuller you can watch and excerpt.