Boomkat Product Review:
A label like Die Schachtel can easily overwhelm any listener with its vast catalogue, dividing its attentions between showcasing new experimental music (predominantly from Italy) and reissuing lost classics. In both cases you'll often find yourself confronted with works and artists you'll have had no prior knowledge of, and frankly, it can all seem a little bit disorientating, even overwhelming at times. This release is one that really shines out though - it's surely one of the finest Die Schachtel reissues to date and represents the uncovering of a genuine lost gem. Luciano Cilio was a Neapolitan composer who released his album Dialoghi Del Presente in 1977, though tragically his music career was all-too short: Cilio committed suicide in 1983. For the recording sessions leading to this remarkable full-length Cilio takes up a role as multi-instrumentalist, performing on piano, guitar, flute, bass and mandola, with some assistance from a group of supporting players who supply strings, extra woodwind and percussion. It's hard to concisely describe what this sounds like; Cilio's music has much of the sophistication and the biting edge of avant-garde 20th century composition, yet it also owes something to baroque chamber music and even avant-garde folk. Notably, Jim O'Rourke has lavished praise on this: "These recordings sound as if they were to please no one but himself, they feel self-contained, introspective, and determined. This isn't to say that he didn't wish for others to hear it, I obviously can't say that for him, but you can feel in the music a sort of necessity that can rarely be found. It can be found in records as widely different as This Heat's debut, Bill Fay's Time Of The Last Persecution, Tenno's Noise, or most famously in Nick Drake's Pink Moon." The entirety of Cilio's incredible 1977 long-player is included on this disc along with a selection of extra tracks and alternate versions. It's an amazing record - truly something very special that could hardly come with a higher recommendation.