Are you nervous as you like to be?” Die Form, ‘Are You Before’
In Italy, they are known as the Anni di Piombo, the ‘Years Of Lead’, a period of
unprecedented political turmoil between the late ‘60s and early ‘80s across the country.
Sparked following an attempt to merge the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI)
into the ruling Tambroni government and a subsequent coalition between the Christian
Democrats (DC) and the Socialist Party, nearly 2000 murders were attributed to political
violence during this dark period in the form of bombings, assassinations and street
warfare between rival militant factions, including the high profile murder of DC leader
Aldo Moro in 1978.
Kompakt artist Alessio Natalizia from Walls brings together ‘Mutazione’, a collection of
reactionary underground electronic and new wave rarities from Italy, recorded during the
tail end of this turbulent era. Based around a hotbed of activism in Tuscany and the Emilio
Romagna region, bands emerged from squats and both right and left wing militant
groups, feeding off the national paranoia and angst to create a unique sound, rooted in
punk but touching on new wave, electronic, experimental and industrial styles. Much of
the music was released on limited cassettes. Fanzines sprang up, both from political
groups and the bands themselves, in turn spawning new artists – Suicide Dada, featured
on this album, emerged from a collective running the VM fanzine in Turin and the Traxxtra
collective of underground musicians also published a regular lo-fi magazine of their own.
For ‘Mutazione’, Natalizia digs deep to explore the full spectrum of sounds from this rich
era of Italian music. Styles range from brooding new wave and post-punk to raw electronic
pieces and claustrophobic, whispered vocal cuts. There are stories aplenty behind
many of the tracks: Laxative Souls’ chilling ‘Niccolai’ 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. Kirlian Camera’s ‘Edges’ is an early single from one of the few
underground Italian new wave to land a major label deal and Doris Norton’s ‘Norton
Apple Software’ is culled from an all-electronic instrumental album sponsored by Apple
during their early days in 1984.
This exclusive release comes with extensive sleeve notes by two of Italy’s leading
cultural journalists, Andrea Pomini and Alberto Campo, both now of Rumore magazine.
The package also features a wealth of original photos alongside artwork from fanzines,
cassettes and LP covers.
(added: 2013-07-02 13:56:36 )