Music Reviews

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Title: THE CITY OF SIMULATION (14 audio-visual poems)
Format: CD
Label: setola di maiale
Rated: *****
This album is composed of 14 track by Tiziano Milani and 14 images/text by Luca Ruta. One concept is the foundation of this record: the description of the contemporary city. Simulation is a term to be intended in the Baudrillad sense: the invisible, and real, part of the city is what lies behind the flashy skyline that is the standard for all the (post)modern cities. As Rota says in the linear notes "the word must cheat the attempt of simulation and of expressive "normalization" that comes from it somehow, or it should still retain inside itself the ability of representing life". Their aim is to describe a path beneath all the elements of the way of life in this simulation, so, this is an ambitious work and not a mere collection of text and tunes.
The journey starts with "La città della simulazione" where drones, field recordings and vinyl crackles are paired with the lyrical description of a city where everything has become false and a picture of buildings at night. "Skyline" continues this journey with the same elements showing an enormous cure for sonic details while the words typesetted as a skyline deals with the concept of a (false) elevation. "Divieto di scarico immondizie" take his point with letter falling like bread crumbs and sparse sound of various nature. "Denaro" is based on carillon sounds, eroded by noise, paired with a powerful text about the relationship with money in the boroughs of the city. "In c-ostruzione" is a beat driven track ending with the sound of a spin-drier where the text deals with the work driven economical climbing. "incroci confluenze analogie" features words and sounds everyone knows. "Muro di periferia" is urban poetry nourished by field recordings and abandoned buildings. "Salutiamo con applausi e simpatia" is a bitter, tongue-in-cheek, reflection on politics. With "Nebbia" comes the same idea behind writing: cover the ugliness of urban landscape. "Passi" is, in the author's intentions, the closing track and there's some form of hope: city exists from, and built by, citizen ... this means it can be changed; the music underline this idea with the sense of movement generated by beats and voices.
There's a constant dialogue between music and words, in this way this work has a sense of unity that set the text not as "linear notes" or the images as "packaging", but, as a guide to comprehension. However, the track has no numbers (the mp3s are titled only and the track number tag is empty) so, implicitly, everyone can take his own path to this work. This is not an easy listening record, this is just like a city you have to explore using the time it needs.
This is a work of great design and depth, and one of my album of the year. Highly Recommended.

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