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- Fiume Nero by Donato Epiro
9/10 Brian Staff review, 30 May 2014
Well that's me stumped. A perusal of the press for this LP mentions a load of Italian composers, none of whom I know anything about so without spending five hours in a frenzy of desperate research I'll just wing it and say this is my most interesting treat of the week and spout loads of cobblers about why it's great.
These recordings are taken from a fertile period in the musical life of Mr. Epiro and only the best materials have been deployed to build the musical house that is the compilation 'Fiume Nero'. Firing off with a hypnotic Muslimgauze-esque woody tribal patter that gradually involves some mesmerising industrial chain-drag and quite a significant voodoo-trance aspect, this is shaping up to be one hell of an impressive sounding record. Second piece is, much like V/VM's 'The Death of Rave', a ghostly ambient encounter with some wispy echoes of disembodied dance music set to this sort of spectral dubbed-out tropical jazz. Like an abstracted Sun Araw caught in a fevered jungle embrace with some undefined predator lurking in the undergrowth. Third track gives up some succulent tom-tom trails and gorgeous string rushes that sound like manic dragonflys stuck in a harp....excitable flute orchestra trilling plus one wee ominous drone and some woozy oscillator panning. It really is a tactile, involving experience this record. Heady, fevered and majestic. Don't do drugs kids, buy this album.
Side two continues along the spooky ethnic musics route, bringing in a probing alien synth line that throbs and zaps its way through this most unusual cornucopia of psychedelic sounds. It's probably even more amazing on opium but I wouldn't recommend getting stuck in. It's quite spellbinding enough just on coffee. Our penultimate movement is like a live recording of a deeply powerful tribal ceremony in which crazy psychedelic substances have been imbibed to enhance inner peace and existential understanding. It's darkly delicious stuff eventually infused with a menacing atmosphere, like the trip has gone pretty weird and you've fallen down a digital plughole being chased by cyborg venus flytraps.
Out of all the records I've heard this week, this is the one I'm spending me paper round money on. I just love it, I get the same sense of profound delight I get from a Popol Vuh record or any of the coolest experimental psychedelic drone shit you can throw at me. Donato Epiro is a significant talent I can assure you, his music is both spiritually enriching and suitably unnerving. He so deserved his exciting visionary sounds pressed lovingly onto wax by Black Moss.
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