Monday, August 23, 2010

Deca: Claustrophobia (Labyrinth Records, 1989)

"Soundtracks for imaginary films". The expression is much abused, but rarely fits as much as in this case. "Claustrophobia" is a deeply atmospheric record, polarized in a gloomy cyberpunk direction which easily recalls of Gary Numan's most disquieting soundscapes. But the darkness here goes further, entering the realms  of industrial music: though the sonic palette is quite different, Kirlian Camera's evocative halo is often behind the corner.
Don't think of some dull minimal-wave record, anyway. This synth-only music always shows an admirable sonic care, much far from the stereotypical amateurish sound of the Italian 80s underground. There's a strong attention to melody and timbre, and many solutions remind of progressive artists such as Goblin or J.M. Jarre: not the kind of influence usually found in post-punk stuff. Moreover, the programming work on percussions is impressively layered: the repetive metallic patterns of the synthetizers create a hypnotic rhythmic jungle which hides secret melodies right in the beats.
Some tracks feature vocals, quite unkempt as a matter of fact. They sound as if they were the usual awfully-pronounced English of Italian darkwave, but they are just meaningless syllabes - a fake idiom the author baptised "tecnoi".

Deca's is a project of Federico De Caroli's, started in the early Eighties. "Claustrophobia" is his third album, marking the depart from a Cosmic Couriers-style composition towards a darker and more personal sound. He went on along this direction, publishing many other works and attracting a small but devoted cult following.  He's still active today.


  1. Inframorte
  2. Carnal Flowers
  3. Timewarp
  4. Private Panic
  5. Cathedral of Nightmares
  6. Liquid Animals
  7. Claustrophobia
  8. Metamorphosis
Download (192 kbps)