Mai Mai Mai is a Rome-based abstract noise / sound producer, and Φ (Phi) is the final part of his Mediterranean trilogy of albums, each based around a different character of the Greek alphabet. The record is a colourful swirling swell of sound, with feedback, accordion, throbbing bass, samples of warfare, gong percussion and much besides all seeping warmly together into a pleasingly physical whole. Vinyl release on Boring Machines.
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- Φ (Phi) by Mai Mai Mai
8/10 Ant Staff review, 05 January 2017
'Φ' (Phi) is the third and final instalment in Roman artist Toni Cutrone’s Greek alphabet trilogy. The previous volumes have somehow managed to evade my radar, but I’m gonna have to check those out and see how they all fit together -- cuz this is some good shit.
After a brief intro of squawking gulls ‘Nuktipolois’ plunges into a powerful, ecstatic droning synth, gurgling liquid electronics and distant vocal conversations, the feel something like witnessing the heavens opening on Ancient Greece and futuristic alien craft illuminating the skies like some epic scene from Stargate. From there things get heavier with the brutal techno/industrial stomp and searing noise of ‘Magois’, with it’s martial synth and intense vocal cries, it’s like a man vs machine, chaotic, apocalyptic war zone. ‘Bakkois’ recalls the vocal delivery of Dominick Fernow’s spoken word work as Prurient, chattering amidst whooshes of static and unsettling layers of twitching eerie sound.
‘Lenais’ heads back into the technoise realm; with tough beats, devotional vocal chants, and blasts of distortion. ‘Mustais’ sounds like an electrified, ancient rites of passage ritual/ ceremony. Meanwhile closer ‘Akea’ sounds like chain shackled slaves journeying through vast winds and set free in some future/past power electronics show that threatens to erupt into a rave that’s blown away by the storm - leaving wind chimes twinkling in its wake.
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