Thursday, November 18, 2010

VV.AA.: Ref. 907 (Italian Records, 1981)

An early compilation witnessing the earliness and originality of Italian minimal-synth scene. Published by the quintessential new wave label Italian Records, it features a selection of three songs for each of five bands: Eurotunes, Ipnotico Tango, Metal Vox, Absurdo, Kerosene.
Almost no information about the bands can be found on the internet, but Eurotunes have a Myspace page and it says they were based in Rome. The overall sound of the record, anyway, isn't that far in spirit from the one of the mostly Bolognese bands heralded by Italian Records: Gaznevada, Stupid Set, Hi-fi bros, Confusional Quartet. It is, basically, de-evoluted rock based on primitive-sounding synthetizers, with very repetitive beats and skeletal riffing held by the sawtooth register of the keyboards. As for the aforementioned Italian Records bands, the prominent references seem to be the contemporary scene of the American North-East, with two subtler yet distinct influences coming from the alienating synth-pop sounds of Sheffield and post-industrial England, and perhaps more evidently from the New York no wave/mutant disco circuit - the latter fact making many tracks remind of the extraordinary "Great Complotto" scene of Pordenone.
The defining trait differentiating the five bands of Ref. 907 from their labelmates is essentially the darkness and illness of their sound. Though it has almost nothing in common with the growing "darkwave" trend of those years (no abyss and woe, at all) the music shows a taste for bleak and morbid atmospheres, combined with schizoid/spastic vocals and discomforting instrumental intermissions.
The bands are quite different one from the other, but I'll let you discover yourself their particularities. I'll just say everytime I listen to this compilation I have different opinions on what's my favourite!

  1. Eurotunes: European's Progress
  2. Eurotunes: I Got the Beak
  3. Eurotunes: Osaki Motion
  4. Ipnotico Tango: Ipnotico Tango
  5. Ipnotico Tango: Spasmodico Rango
  6. Ipnotico Tango: Erotico Mango
  7. Metal Vox: Future World
  8. Metal Vox: T.V. Hero
  9. Metal Vox: Infinity
  10. Absurdo: O'vel
  11. Absurdo: Audio Output
  12. Abdurdo: Sex in Ball
  13. Kerosene: Meccano
  14. Kerosene: Jazz Rock
  15. Kerosene: Stivali
Download (256 kbps)
The compilation was already posted on Mutant Sounds, but some tracks were missing.

Similar music on the blog:
Gaznevada: Sick Soundtrack (Italian Records, 1980)
Confusional Quartet: omonimo (1980)

3  :

roberto said...

Absurdo e Metal Vox erano di Bologna(ne conosco un paio ancora attivi nella scena musicale)i Kerosene venivano da Modena,hanno inciso anche un 12",Red Ronnie li paragonava a Spizz...nulla so degli Ipnotico Tango,non esistevano anche i Frigidaire Tango(da Padova,un LP)?L'età gioca brutti scherzi...complimenti e saluti.

Audiozobe said...

A very interesting peek in a scene no outsider could be privy too. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

U can find something about Metalvox in Italian Wikipedia and in, but it's almost empty... Really an interesting band, some their songs can be sold 30 years after..