Music Reviews

Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Radio Stridentia
Format: CD
Label: Bosco records
Rated: *****
Daniele Brusaschetto has been a staple in Italy's sad and ever-more-shrinking industrial/rock scene for at least 20 years now, and honestly I lost count of how many records he's made... he just keeps putting them out, as he should!
The latest one is called "Radio Stridentia" (full disclosure: I did master this CD) and is a collection of 6 songs, some in Italian and some in English, featuring guest drummer Bruno Dorella on two tracks, guest e-bow guitarist and synth-player Francesco Lurgo and guest synth player Marco Milanesio (of DsorDNE fame) on two tracks. This CD even has a Leonard Cohen cover, which I hadn't initially recognize.
Musically I would say Daniele revisited his darker and moodier songwriting and orchestration chops... the guitar is ever present, being his main instrument, and so is his peculiar vocal style, of course, but the surrounding instrumentation and arrangments are a bit less abrasive than in some of the previous releases, so the focus is back on the lyrics and the ambiance... The opening tune sounds like it is came straight out of one of the quieter Einsturzende Neubauten releases (think "Haus Der Luge" but with Daniele's languid, smooth and less atonal voice) but then turns into a mixture of that and a more nordic, almost Autechre/Boards of Canada sound. Right after that the fuzzy guitar comes at you strong to keep you on your toes and remind you what you just signed up for. This is maybe one of the hardest and harshest songs with a four on the floor almost techno-industrial beat that is subdued by the industrial fierceness and distortion. Then the strident radio tunes back into something initially more approachable, and by track 4 you even get a glimpse of a nylon string guitar (if not a first, definitely a rare sight in the Brusaschetto world). This is also the first track in English and it eventually turns into a drum'n'bass opus with a reverberated distorted synth line that kinda hovers over the interesting chord changes that evolve and devolve around the initial chord progression. Very interesting track. The punk roots of this artist sometimes shine through but never really make themselves known in a clear or obvious way or just hide under the noise-rock umbrella. When he goes from his low register to his falsetto singing and throws in clean arpeggios of electric guitar there are almost some echoes of Radiohead, or even The Cure (on track 7), but Brusaschetto always retains his harsher nature and his bedrock of industrial activity and art-rockerism, and he likes to remind you of that with a great closing track that has a bunch of guitar overdubs over some kind of repurposed and highly treated drum beat that carries one of his more melodic vocal performances.
If you are tired of the usual industrial rock or of the usual rock or of the usual industrial, and definitely if you are tired of the usual Italian music, you must check this guy out!

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