Music Reviews

Artist: VV.AA.
Format: CD
Label: SantoS Productions (@)
Rated: *****
The small Italian label Santos Productions by Davide Fernia manages to erect a monumental sonic mausoleum dedicated to big names of history, politics or culture, whose lives are somewhat memorable whether right or wrong, by involving some of the most renowned (mainly) Italian representatives and explorers of grey interzone, who offer an impressive collection of various facets of this obscure and unconventional scene, whose stylistical ground lies on tape and noise art, post-industrial, electronic experiments, dark ambient, neo-folk, ritual ambient as well as on a fertile humus of occult subjects, paganism, underground cultures, futurism, political activism and so on. This 17-tracks compilation of "requiems" opens with "Le 516 volte di Giovanni" ("The 516 times by Giovanni") by Massimo Olla's project Noisedelik, whose sinister rasps on guitar strings, noises of chains, grinding blades, metallic objects and coughs which seem to come from filthy wet prison cells become more and more claustrophobic and obsessive like the imminent execution by the hands of the character whom this track refers, Giovanni Battista Bugatti, commonly known as Mastro Titta, the cruel official executioner for the Papal States in the first half of XIX century, who carried out 516 executions. That's a sticking way to start this commemoration, which carries on with memorable memorials. All tracks include proper sonic hints and quotes by the personalities they referred to so that it's almost impossible to state an "order of preference" as well as a dissertation about each memorial could be excessively rambling. Anyway there are some tracks which struck me more, but such a list cannot be considered thorough at all: ofr instance I found particularly catchy the treatment LCHM and KHEM reserved on "Neo Mondo" to a reading by Pier Paolo Pasolini of some excerpts from Ezra Pound's "The Pisan Cantos" with the quotation of the known verse "What thou lovest well remains, / the rest is dross", the psychotropic evocation Simon Balestrazzi offers on "The Airtight Garage of Jean Giraud (Requiem for Moebius)", the guessed industrial anxiety on "Crunch/Grind Mechanism" by Automageddon in order to remember the controversial General Ludd, the memory glimpses of some literary climax by Danilo Kis while listening to the tribute by Maurizio Bianchi, Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron, the touching dark folk song dedicated to Ota Benga by TSIDMZ and Rose Rovine e Amanti, the synaesthetic sonic remembrance of the brave deeds by Ukrainian anarcho-communist revolutionary Nestor Makhno on "Tacianka Armata" by Brigata Stirner, the scary abrasions by Uncodified for his homage/memorial to Italian witty film director Lucio Fulci or the ripping dedication by meand of headbanging reading within a storm of noises to the innovative aesthaetics of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima by The Streetcleaner and Troy Southgate, but I cannot but reaffirm such a list doesn't justice to other sound artists, who gave their precious contribution to the general impressiveness of the project.

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