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umberto - Confrontations
Following up the creepy goodness of last year’s ‘Night Has A Thousand Screams’, Italian horror soundtrack fetishist Umberto (aka Matt Hill) is back on home turf at Not Not Fun with ‘Confrontations’. The first indicator that we’re in for a different kind of ride though comes with opener ‘Night Fantasy’ that gives a nod to West Coast retro revivalist Johnny Jewel (and notably his contributions to the ‘Drive’ OST), and while it isn’t as explicitly horror-primed as his previous work, it shows Hill is equally as adept at spiky 70s electro as he is at gloomy synth-led terror. There’s a deviant pop side to ‘Confrontations’, and while there’s still more than just a hint of Fabio Frizzi and Piero Umilani in amongst the cavernous snares and fizzing analogue synths, for the most part the record is filled to the brim with flickering neons and half-visible memories of an alternate 1983. The title track itself might be the biggest clue; sure the warbling male chorus sounds might be straight out of Lucio Fulci’s hypnotic masterpiece ‘The Beyond’, but beneath the gothic ambience there’s a pulsing 4/4 and a bassline that’s surely aimed far above the church basement. Recommended.