The Tapes compilation

tdkd-c120tape copy

 

So when Alessio Natalizia isn’t busy being Not Waving he’s doing all sorts of other things, one of those things is digging up lost gems of italian electronic music from his youth, probably from before his youth actually, and putting them out on his ECSTATIC label. This is just such a thing. He’s compiled ‘The Tapes –  Selected Works 1982 – 1992’ with care from 10 tape releases by the Drago brothers under the ‘does what it says on the tin’ name The Tapes. Lo-fi tape experiments and cheap synths, kosmiche, sampled voices and remarkably funky industrial minimalism, this is a really, really great and fascinating listen. The inventiveness is dizzying and rather than the dreary drones and grinding of basic equipment you might expect it’s seductively enjoyable stuff both familiar and odd at once. Their music stretches itself out and pushes at the edges of its already fairly abstract forms but never outstays its welcome. It’s so wide ranging and so often current sounding in approach that had he not already compiled the “Mutazione: Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988” compilation and put out a similar collection by Danielle Ciullini it’d be hard to resist the idea Natalizia had done this himself as an experiment with a shed full of old gear. Of course it’s only the current fascination with the possibilities of ‘outmoded’ analogue gear that make that a conceivable scenario and this release likely to reach a curious audience. Just this week ECSTATIC have put out a new tape that by Novo Line that claims to be created this past December “using a software program on a 720kb floppy written in 1988, run on two x Atari ST PCs using only era-consistent hardware FM synthesis via MIDI”. What I can’t be sure of is why anyone should know or care if that’s actually true.

 

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