Alessio Natalizia’s Not Waving has been busily popping out a steady stream of intriguing and brilliant music over the past three years or so since the name (and the ECSTATIC label) launched out from WALLS but this new one here ‘Animals’ is the best yet. It might even be the record we’ve been waiting for someone to make. Opener ‘Believe’ is a mid paced 80’s synth thing, lovely, but no great shakes. Still, it merely sets the scene for the impressively subtle shifts and twists of ‘Head Body’ and just when you’re thinking to yourself ‘ooh that was clever’ next track, and first of the albums total belters ’24’ clobbers you. Immediately and infectiously great it makes a good case for being the best new tune I’ve heard this year. Kicking, odd and brilliant it has a breakdown to just a guy chatting away in Italian that somehow makes perfect sense and it still feels like a dance floor killer… There’s a more familiar moody number and then another punch, but from the other fist this time. I know. I know, I know.
Then a track actually called ‘Punch’ but it’s like the aftermath of one, a woozy buzz that comes back around to a shifted perspective, waking in mid pub quiz. Like its garish cover this record sounds bright, bold and sharp edged, but it also nimbly covers a huge range – sucking in techno and electronic experimentalism and industrial and post punk and that 80’s synth soundtrack vibe and god only knows what else. Yet unlike a lot of other things I’ve been enjoying, including earlier Not Waving releases, this doesn’t just take that stuff and dick about with it a bit or stretch it out for fun and roll around in it ‘cos the texture feels so nice. No. Alessio has got his sonic ducks in a row here and he ain’t playing around now. It’s his most diverse and also his most focussed record yet, the familiar smeared voices are here and the static and glitch and lopsided melodies made of electrical interference but they now seem more under his control.
Although it is often infectiously funky the beats are a weird and wonky mix, sometimes muffled and often recalling the slightly cack handed efforts of analogue industrialists first discovering digital gear and ecstasy, yet also quite perfect. In what seems a break with the blurry telekinetic messaging of voices in his work so far the final track begins and ends with a clear vocal sample (of Oliver Sacks) discussing relative levels of engagement with religion. It works just fine as it is but seems to both shut down and echo the earlier fascination with communication through supernatural means. He recently dropped this wild and wide ranging mix for FACT, the second we’ve posted this week to feature Camberwell Now – aren’t they in vogue? I’m taking that as reasonably conclusive proof of my suspicion the name came from This Heat. He also plays at the wonderful Golden Cabinet tonight with the mighty Hey Colossus. Regrettably, only the annoying one of us is able to attend.