Manitu Rossi is living somewhere in italian countryside and have no links
to outer world at all. His interests are focused mainly around music and
scabrous aspects of catolicism. In 1983, he decided to channel his tastes
into music form and founded this strange band (the name means "Manitu Scissors").
Some of his early works can be heard on "Saliva Calda" compilation tape produced
for Rosa Luxemburg Corporation label in 1990. But, as result of fundamental and
appropriate difficulties between band members, "Scissors" broke up and split.
The new birth of the band came about after some years, and two new members were
engaged - could I say "ingenious"? Well if they still need introduction that's it.
Enrico Marani is one those musicians who founded T.A.C. (Tomograffia Assiale Computerizzata),
one of finest and high-rated bands if italian underground movement. Enrico produced
also the best albums ever recorded by T.A.C. ("Pioggia su Carne di Cavallo",
"A Circle of Limbs" and "Hypnotischer Eden"). He is also a good photographer and
designed some CD covers for many italian bands. The third band member is Vittore Baroni.
In the late 70s, he was known as freelance musical journalist and worked with such
magazines as "Rockerilla", "Velvet", "Rumore", "Sonora", "Neural" and many other.
But his main goal was mail-art so he is best known as mail-artist and takes responsibility
for Italy's inclusion in worldwide underground music scene. He developed a huge
music archive and had close relationship with such people as Carl Howard (audiofile Tapes)
and Rodolfo Protti (Old Europa Cafe). He produced 69 issues of his own magazine
"Arte Postale!", and also had very acclaimed musical/plagiarist project Lieutenent Murnau
(1980-1984). His label Trax, founded in 1981, was the international mail-art tribune for 7 years.
Now he continues releasing books and records under his new trademark "AAA-Edizioni",
and take his part in Le Forbici Di Manitu band. So what the music they play now?
After such a pompous presentation, one can wonder if it's just a soft techno-ambient tunes.
But that's it, especially having in mind that Disturbance label (techno-division of Minus Habens Records)
was intended to develop this kind of music. I'm afraid that I have no enough competence to
make a right judgement. Four long pieces are associated with West, East, South and North
- so as far as the story goes, expanding amorphous horizons and massaging your ears
with gentle pulsing downtempo rhythms...
Bulgaria's unique history and isolated geography has allowed the preservation
of musical traditions that can be traced back to the various groups,
originally from different areas of Europe and Asia, that would eventually
The history of this band goes back into past, when the words "KGB" and "antisovetic
propaganda" still had the power which is lost nowadays. The opposition of
authoritarian regime and dissidents were at the cornerstone of art, and LPM
was at the top of the developments. It was formed in Lwow (Western Ukaraine)
in early eighties by Vladimir Surmach, Maxim Vasilenko and Alexei Lugin.
There also was many other people involved - you can see full background story
on their website. But despite of the illegal status and living on the underground
edge through many years, all early recordings were carefully preserved and
lately reissued on CDs. This new album was entirely recorded during 2000-2001
with the help of russian, ukrainian, polish and danish musicians.
Highly acclaimed polish label Obuh Records is known for widespread and quality taste,
it promotes all types of music from folk to avantgarde. All Obuh releases
have great artwork and remarkable design - out of standard but holding an irresistible
sign of ephemeral beauty. This one is no exception - an informative booklet includes
the detailed information about tracks and authors. "Le Plastique Mystification" is
derived from a method for the transformation of cultural, scientific, philosophical, historical
material, human knowledge and human experiences of present times, times which modern
philosophers and art critics have named the postmodern period, in subjective and eclectic
forms which allow us to qualify related phenomena in accordance of the level of our
consciousness, and use them when process of collection experience is complete.
LPM musicians have searching spiritual support in various religions, russian
theosophic heritage, humanistic values, ecology, futurism, art of pre-rafaelites and
many other sources - so you can expect for more than simply one more ideology-based propaganda.
The music itself is very strange though - everything is slow and drenched in melancholy.
Sometimes painful and ponderous, music is inflated by jazzy turns, waltzing lullabies,
shivering and whispering voices, a sort of romantic overtones somewhere deep in your mind.
But every time it will return you to the sad and desperate place. The variety of acoustic
instruments has its proper influence, adding some profound elegancy, the living feeling,
the expansion of perception bounds. Simultaneously with this album, Obuh Records released
solo album by Maria Zakharova, female ukrainian poet, which voice you can hear also in LPM songs.
Romantic can be explained as
the specific state of soul, when the ordinary things turns to
be beautiful. "Corrumpate" calls to the most obscure and perverse
sides of consciousness, to destructive and dirty thoughts,
rebuild the system of values and places the obscene things
on the pedestal of excellence. From your own insanity to
the total climax of modern society, it will lead the spirit
to highest point of sacramental loneliness simultaneously.
15 compositions of ambient noise layers, voices, street musicians
echoes, old cinema fragments - all drowned in the debris of
overwhelming electronic waste. Like the old song from the
broken vinyl record of your long passed youth.
Water always had a special point of interests for the composer of all sorts. Think
"En Attendant Cousteau" by Jean-Michel Jarre or "Hydrophonies" by Asmus Tietchens,
or what can be more close to you. Scott Gibbons is active from time immemorial,
with his long running one-man project Lilith. Four remarkable albums was released
in the time lapse of recent 10 years, all dedicated to acoustic phenomena exploration.
The first one ("Stone", Sub Rosa 1992) uses rolling stones as a source for triggering
emotions, the more recent "Redwing" (Sub Rosa 1995) was created from air and filled
with thrilling atmosphere by thick sub-bass drone. The title of "Imagined Compositions
for Water" speaks for itself and represents the main idea of composer - to produce
unusual sound effects and constructions without synthesizers and computer processing.
The original recordings taken directly from natural surrounding (rivers, ocean,
waterfalls) and was treated only by analogue/digital filters. The other methods
are derived from pre-digital era of recording technology (speedback and direction
variation, mixing, looping, continuous overdubbing etc.). The working material was
originally recorded on Ars Electronica festival (Austria, 1997) and during the concerts
at Comandini Theatre (Italy, 1998). But who knows how many days of travelling, pursuit,
field recording, sampling was gone before something appeared to be completed?
The hard work is all about the hidden potential of inorganic nature life.
All tracks have a detailed descriptions, and I was wondered if someone else is able
to get such an impressive outcome with the improvised means. The overall feeling
is very dynamic but strict - it can be even frightening. It's like the stark techno
track, frozen in water which become ice. The microstructure of sound seems to be
composed from thousends compressed particles. No single element appears at foreground,
but the combination of them all amplifies every second of expanded time. In fact,
this excursion into the synthetic world is the best metaphor for the imagination energy
- the coldness of underwater stones, impetuous force of sea-current or the sunlight
reflected from the smooth surface of splashing water. All these things have their
own sound equivalent.
Little Fyodor is that one of the strangest musicians whose names came across
my life not once or twice, but I never had a chance to listen to the music they play.
Apparently, they became a kind of myth, so there's no wonder that I often get
surprised when this long awaited rendez-vous occurs. So where are the proper words
to describe this eccentric, vigorous, friendly furious, impetuous showman -
I believe he was hailed from the generation of american "free art" successors.
The mental clown? The sad comedian? The provocative thinker/songwriter, aesthete and poet...
the words that means so few. By the way, he admires the literary talent of
our great countryman Dostoyevsky - so much that he indebted to him his name.
Fyodor is active since the early 80s, he was (and still does) making semi-monthly
program on KGNU, community radio from Boulder (Colorado): "Under The Floorboards".
It's devoted to the avantgarde music and antisocial sentiments, how he use to say.
Then he was a part of mysterious experimental band Wall Of Genius, released
over 30 tapes during the relatively short period 1983-1986. Did you heard any of them?
After the band breakup, Fyodor continued with music and recorded one single "Slither"
and two albums - "Beneath The Uber-Putz" and "Idiots Are Closer To God" (vinyl LPs,
now also available on CDR format). The new CD is, well, a little outdated, because it
was released 1994 with the kind help and courtesy of musicians from The Apples,
independently, but that's it! I'd like to imagine that Fyodor lived in USSR for a
30 years ago - then he will be obviously the favourite of students and marginal
intellectuals. But he is American and lives in Denver, together with his old mad
female assistent known as Babushka (grandmother in Russian). The idiotic image
is the best thing one can recall to express the personal frustration and sarcastic
view of life which make a sense in his songs. You can see Fyodor as the bad-taste
parodist of rock stars, or the perverse love-story character (the rumours says, that
Fyodor met Babushka on The Haters concert). Fyodor's voice is damn pretty natural,
he also plays guitar and get some support with another instruments played by Babushka
- bass, drums and keyboard. Nothing breathtaking here, but yet a good case to rack your brains over.
Well I always considered our planet as only real noise universe.
Francisco Lopez is working in the field of environmental music since early 80s,
and his works are ranging from shear radical anti-structural noise of
various small life forms to ultra minimal broad-band noise often
reduced to silence. "Belle Confusion 969" was recorded at various
locations like forests of Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Costa Rica
and featuring one long track of evolving noisescapes. Extreme amplitudes
followed by extreme velocities, sounds dissolving and gathering together like worms.
"Untitled #89" is next part of ongoing series of untitled albums, started
from "silent" Drone Records EP. This one is more atmospheric, and starts
after 1.5 minute pause. Very minimal, but intense "natural" noise,
evolving from silence to peak and then back from peak to silence.
This work have strong hypnotic quality - if you're able to listen
carefully and attentively, you'll find yourself in the state of flux.
Currently Lopez is very prolific composer - watch for his new works
released via Staalplaat and Linea Alternativa.
Former members of Le Tetines Noires with their debut CD, released with
the help of Paul Kendall who has also produced some bands from Mute
Records catalogue. Well, the music is more electronic/experimental
than their previous project, it's freaky and funny, but sounds too
much like french version of Nine Inch Nails to me. Of course, noone
should miss the outstanding design of CD in transparent jewelcase,
the sound engineering is brilliant, the songs are rapidly moving,
the rhythms are pumping out...
Maybe people who appreciate french rock will be definitely satisfied
with this CD, but I can recommend this album only if you are curious
what's going on in the french alternative rock scene.