Boomkat Product Review:
Nashazphone offers up a vital picture of the contemporary Italian electroacoustic and musique concrete tape scene, featuring tracks from Valerio Tricoli, SEC_, Giovanni Lami, kNN, Mercury Hall, and others.
Italians have always been able to season their musical output with something ineffable that speaks to the region's lengthy artistic history. Their relationship with electroacoustic music is no different, and it's hardly surprising that this new compilation from Hicham Chadly's excellent Nashazphone imprint opens with a new piece from the genre's most recognizable figure - Valerio Tricoli. 'Total Recall' is a great example of what Tricoli does best - the basic template is oily with the fingerprints of Paris's GRM, but Tricoli brings exceptional craft and no small amount of humor to the table. Movie samples are distorted into swirling whirlpools of psychedelic stuttering and gurgling, and Tricoli never overwhelms the senses completely, paying just as much attention to negative space and pace as he does texture and density.
Second Sleep label founder Matteo Castro, aka Mercury Hall, delivers the noisy 'Dorsoduro', reaching back towards the fertile Italian '80s industrial scene and overlaying wheezing malfunctioning electronics with ferric groans and melted environmental ghostings. Turin's Ezio Piermattei takes a gentler approach with 'Pupils' Sleep', anchoring the track with a gently panting church organ wail that underpins chattering voices, radio static, tape squelches and white noise - it's as cinematic as anything from Lustmord or Dean Hurley, but unshakably lashed to Italy's holy legacy. Armed with a Revox reel-to-reel machine, Mimmo Napolitano, aka SEC_, has been releasing music since 2008, and turns in one of the album's most unexpected compositions. 'Orogenesi' is as heavy and overdriven as anything from Emptyset or Pan Sonic, using curdled tape coughs and slips to fill in the gaps between thick kick-like impressions and inebriated, white-knuckle hats.
The album moves considerably slower after this, reaching a syrupy crawl on Giovanni Lami's waterlogged 'Gechi e Fontane', and hitting near silence on the microscopic, detailed 'Compendium Pulveris AC Lumina' from Naples' Giulio Nocera. Campania's kNN plays us out with 'Oggetto Tutto Sommato', finishing a satisfying collection with throaty Italian spoken word and disintegrating Köner-esque gong prangs. If you're into tape music, from Luc Ferrari's early innovations to Aaron Dilloway's noisy manglings, this one's gonna have you giddy, we promise. Italians really do it better.