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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

VARIOUS: Electronic Signals from Italy (2019)

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

“This is a very good compilation that shows that EM made in Italy is very alive and well”

1 Wave Runner - Piero Monachello 7:19

2 Phase Change - Gino Zuliani 5:24

3 Closing Theme (From Dark City) - Roberto Alfano 3:58

4 Approaching V354 Cephei - Gabriele Quirici 6:45

5 Equinoxe - Andrea Debbi 5:46

6 The Sands of Time - Alessandro Ghera 5:48

7 Kepler 186b - Rossano Quaresmini 2:44

8 Mintaka - Gianfranco Grilli 6:15

9 Synth Hazard - Marco Michinelli 4:35

10 The Sentinel - Paolo Baccillieri 3:48

11 Fifth Atmosphere - Giuseppe Baccillieri 3:52

22nd Century Music ‎– 22CM/1 (CD/DDL 56:19) (Berlin School) (V.F.)

In recent years, there seems to be a Berlin School revival movement in Italy. There was Alluste, he is still there, and Gabriele Quirici with his Perceptual Defence project and most recently Andrea Debbi with his Lensflare. These 3 artists are travelling to the antipodes of contemporary EM by offering a very different approach each. If Piero Monachello attracted a wider audience with a vision à la Software, Perceptual Defense flirts with a more experimental ambient style and old Berlin School's perfumes while Lensflare travels more on the style popularized by Klaus Schulze in his Moondawn years. Except that there are many other Italian artists who revolve around contemporary EM. ELECTRONIC SIGNALS FROM ITALY is showing it with a compilation that makes the display of this revivability where once Baffo Banfi was one of the few Italian artists to sprinkle his vision of romance and passion on the convoluted structures of EM of a Berlin School genre.

Alluste has the privilege of opening the territories of ELECTRONIC SIGNALS FROM ITALY. And he puts the bar high enough with Wave Runner, a title that illustrates quite easily that Piero Monachello is in a class of his own. The introduction comes from a cosmic oasis with nymphs whispering divining murmurs and orchestrations carved in Italian romance. A pulsation is introduced into this mass of angelic tunes which takes a new impetus with strange watery murmurs. Delicately, the unitary structure of the rhythm deposits its little ones which alternately humbly chant a rhythmic song which increases the emotional burden of Wave Runner even more. Phase Change from Gino Zuliani makes us dream with its fluid oscillations that pass from one ear to another, like wings trapped in a box too small. It's very retro like sound, and especially the effects which got the support of catchy percussions to shape a good rock'n'dance that has everything to become a commercial success. Closing Theme (From Dark City) is a nice slow-tempo with a pulsating ambient rhythm that is enveloped by layers with both ghostly and passionate effects. It's a short title with a very beautiful cinematographic vision of Roberto Alfano. Approaching V354 Cephei is a track from our good friend Gabriele Quirici (Perceptual Defence). We know the signature of the artist, so this is actually a more complex title that takes root with sound effects of all kinds, like a large pot of sonic broth that sparkles and splashes the walls of the galaxy. Filaments originate from this tonal boil. They go in all directions, with their own identity, and spin with more speed than this movement of oscillations which serves as basis for this mass of wild lines. A movement of the sequencer gets rebelling and made palpitate keys that hop around, some have even a vague similarity to a title in Tangerine Dream's Le Parc, while the atmospheres of Approaching V354 Cephei flirt with a more apocalyptic essence. Andrea Debbi's Equinoxe is quite a surprise. A little introduction inspired by oscillations with random shapes, a sequence escapes to beat a slightly rotating cadence with a taste for a stroboscopic saccade. The tone is vintage, and the rhythm is very pleasant, both for the feet and the ears that are submerged by a swarm of electronic filaments and of more musical lines. The structure evolves with percussions and a good melody that follows the tangent of the first rhythmic framework. A great track on this compilation!

Alessandro Ghera, also known as Alesynth Project, proposes an Electronica structure that would go very well with the music of Valérian and the City of the Thousand Planets. It's a mix of Jean-Michel Jarre and Daft Punk with Dub-House spirit. The second half of The Sands of Time is definitely more seductive, even with those old-fashioned percussions that have irritated my ears. We remain in dance hymns with the short and seductive Kepler 186b from Rossano Quaresmini which is a kind of alliance between Kraftwerk is and Moonbooter. It's missing minutes here, so much it's a nice title. Gianfranco Grilli is a musician known for being a sculptor of atmospheres who flirts with music for relaxation. Mintaka is simply elsewhere with a lugubrious approach that I would see well in atmospheres like Suspiria. Dark and disturbing, with good solos full of analog perfumes. Marco Michinelli's Synth Hazard is a good Berlin School with a rhythm that swirls like a handful of sheaves in the winds. The winds here are good synth solos. However, the structure evolves a lot for so little time. The Sentinel, by Paolo Baccillieri, is a well-thought-out title for a movie theme. A good rock with a very MIDI tone of the synth. Fifth Atmosphere by Giuseppe Baccillieri is another great discovery with a pulsating rhythm that hook right on the spot and a harmonious texture tinged with a fragrance of Italian romance. A beautiful piece of EM that is at the greatness of ELECTRONIC SIGNALS FROM ITALY, a useful compilation that demonstrates that the EM made in Italy is alive and well. To put in your private collection!

Sylvain Lupari (July 16th, 2019) ***½**

Available on 22nd Century Music Bandcamp

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