Astolfo sulla Luna — Psi²
(Tenzenmen 178TZM, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-02-17
The noise part of the stylistic description (the band is labelled "math-noise rock") is pretty obvious from the first moments of Ψ², with overdriven bass and guitar dominating the sound, and shouted Italian vocals not trying to sing actual notes. The math part takes a bit longer, until you realize they aren’t playing in straight 4/4 time, but seem to be switching meters for different sections. Then you get a title like the one on track 2, “2 A cos(π/2)” – can’t get much more math-rock than that, can you? Another way of looking at it is to take 90s King Crimson at their most abrasive and imagine their tunes being covered by a hardcore punk band. The sound is nearly relentless, with only a few brief breaks for sound effects, electronics, or recordings of found sounds. I don’t know enough Italian to even make a guess what Rosalia Cecere is screaming about, but she sounds very adamant about it. Your mileage may vary, but fairly soon her voice becomes like another instrument in the mix, and it doesn’t seem so difficult. The occasional breaks from the full band’s intensity are welcome, where taped voices in various languages talk. While the band’s basic idiom is pretty loud and aggressive, with Francesca del Gaudio’s bass very prominent, Gianluca Timoteo’s drums pounding, and Cecere’s guitar dissonant, there are enough variations to keep it interesting. “Germe” has a twangy riff in 5/4, a guest saxophonist appears on two tracks, the music box at the end of “Entscheidungsproblem” turns the mood wistful for a moment. Towards the end of Ψ², they start to stretch out on the two longest tracks, which utilize the extra time to build from quiet rather than jumping into the fray. While not for the faint of heart, Astolfo sulla Luna has an interesting take on post-hardcore music, and is worth investigating.
Related artist(s): Astolfo sulla Luna
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more