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1 review »Walls’ Alessio Natalizia has put together this exceptional compilation of tracks from the Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988 and now I’m listening to it. The press release informs me that these tracks were recorded during the tail end of a very turbulent time in Italian politics and based around a hotbed of activism and a lively zine culture. On this collection Nat ... »

  • Double LP £17.99
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  • STRUT110LP
  • STRUT110LP / 2LP on Strut inc. Maurizio Bianchi, Suicide Dada, La Maison, Neon etc.

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  • CD £11.49
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  • STRUT110CD
  • STRUT110CD / 2xCD SET on Strut inc. Maurizio Bianchi, Suicide Dada, La Maison, Neon etc.

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REVIEWS

MUTAZIONE - Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988 by Various
1 review. Add your own review.
5 people love this record. Be the 6th!
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 07 August 2013

Walls’ Alessio Natalizia has put together this exceptional compilation of tracks from the Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988 and now I’m listening to it. The press release informs me that these tracks were recorded during the tail end of a very turbulent time in Italian politics and based around a hotbed of activism and a lively zine culture. On this collection Natalizia tries to provide a little insight into that era through its music.

There’s a lot of lo-fi post-punk pieces of coldpop here, with patient head-nodding beats which owe a little to their contemporaries in Germany. It’s pretty accessible compared to some of the stuff coming out of Italy at the time - one of the few things I recognised on the tracklist was Maurizio Bianchi’s ‘Auschwitz’, which I knew in advance was not an easy listen, but there are other tracks by the likes of Victrola that have more of a synthpop thing going on like early Depeche Mode or the Human League, where it’s easy to see where the ‘New Wave’ part of the title came from.

So there’s everything from that to more Suicidey minimalist drum machine pop to quirky instrumentals (Doris Norton’s specially commissioned ‘Norton Apple Software’ is another rare familiar face) to the aforementioned full-on darkness of M.B. and the chilling ‘Niccolai’ by Laxative Souls which “samples a telephone call made by infamous terrorist group Brigate Rosse to Aldo Moro’s lawyer, explaining where he could find the politician’s body” over some skittish, paranoid industrial ambience.

I’m reviewing from the CD version which has 26 tracks, of which only 17 have been squeezed onto the vinyl (but the vinyl edition does come with CDs too so nobody misses out). It’s enlightening and challenging but not so dark as to be off-putting. In fact it’s a great starting point for those who want to dip their toe into a movement full of dark and impenetrable records but aren’t sure where to begin. Don’t listen to it too late in the evening, though - it’ll give you nightmares!


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