Boomkat Product Review:
Masterful melange of choral cut-ups, wizened strings and pulsing, keening electro-acoustic sculptures from Italian native Pilia (3/4HadBeenEliminated) and resident Duncan, reprising a relationship ongoing over decades
Latest in a streak of genius releases starring Duncan’s inimitable vocals finds the duo plumbing the depths of an avant soul space between man and machine. Both based in and around the industrial nether region of Bologna, Italy, and its meridian wilderness, Pilia brings a stark avant rock energy to Duncan’s brittle vocals, which have gripped and uniquely entertained us most acutely on a stack of releases for iDEAL in recent years - not to mention his catalogue since the late ‘70s.
’Try Again’ is prefaced by the command “Try Again / Lie Again/ Deny Again”, which does sound a little like something Roger Stone would say, and speaks to the dark forces at work inside. Of course we’re sure they’re not trumpy, more understandably grumpy with the state of things, and working in line with Duncan’s abstract grasp of transgressive matters. He’s really more like a sort of psychopomp for Pilia’s music; a visionary medium whose work crosses so many boundaries of time, politics and space, which Pilia renders remarkably malleable between his sweeping transition from night-flight to sepulchral depth in the album’s towering opener ‘Try Again’, and the guttural lament ‘Fare Forward’ at its peripheries, while nesting more knotted ideas in the album’s hexed core of ‘The Reprisal’, and unsettling keen and croon of ’The Sellout.’
Bleakly life affirming stuff.