subota, 9. veljače 2013.

Estasy - Wild Songs (2012)

Talijanska čudnjikavost. Pjesme s androginim vokalom tek su skicirane, snimljene negdje u šumi ili na polju, a onda zaboravljene  na tavanu, gdje su ih prašina, vlaga i ptičja govna još više uništili.

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Acephale keep it spooky with Ecstasy's tremulous debut album of ether folk-pop. The best bits are the least twee, including the HTDW-onhelium styles of 'Wild Want' and the shrill ultra lo-fi home recording 'Haunted Love. - boomkat

Androginost je oduvijek bila pojava koja privlači pažnju, makar se gnušali na nju, ili je uzdizali kao božansku estetsku igricu nad čovječanstvom koju su ljudi otvorenih gledišta odlučili ubrizgati u mainstream krvo(tok), pa se danas pomalo i ogadila i najvećim idolopoklonicima Ziggy Stardusta (a za one koji misle da je sve počelo s Andrej Pejićem, toplo preporučujem češljanje grčke i rimske mitologije).
Emiliano Maggi je čovjek iza aliasa Estasy iz Rima, koji svojim sopranom (ne falsetom) predstavlja audio formu androginosti, gdje visoki tonovi prigušeni dronovima, zvucima iz prirode i ehom daju isti filing kao da slušamo najcrnji metal (mada žanrovski nemaju veze jedan s drugim). Spektar melodija na ovom albumu stvara neki vid mitološke atmosfere koju moderno doba sve manje i manje prepoznaje, što ga čini još više mističnim i proganjajućim i melanholičnim, a nazvan je “Wild Songs” ne zbog toga što je htio da napravi ironičan privid nekakve žestoke muzike prije no što ga čujemo, nego čisto iz razloga što svoj muzički izražaj ni u jednom trenutku ne želi da sputava kao nešto ukroćeno i poznato. A sve to skupa i zajedno biva još više zanimljivo kada vidimo maske koje koristi tokom live nastupa. -

Estasy is the project of Emiliano Maggi, an Italian singer/songwriter who has spent the last couple of years releasing low-key CD-Rs and collaborating with artists and filmmakers in Rome. A lot of the time his live performances with other artists, well-documented on YouTube, are set to spooky visuals, and in those that aren't Maggi wears quite frightening masks. Sure, quite a bit of that does sound like the sort of standard gimmickry rife in 2012, but there's something about Emiliano Maggi's music that feels genuinely otherworldly and unusual.
Maggi's vocal plays a starring role in that strangeness on his debut album, Wild Songs. His high-pitched, androgynous sounding voice is technically a coloratura soprano-- most often a range delivered by female opera singers. In opera, the coloratura soprano is characterised not just by the dizzying heights of their top notes, but by their technical agility too. While Maggi seems a way off performing at classical standard, on songs like "Wonder", his vocal skips and swoops ornately. Though quite different in some aspects, Maggi's voice also calls to mind the likes of Sigur RósJonsi or new Acéphale label-mate Tom Krell's early releases as How to Dress Well.
The recordings themselves also share something in common with HtDW's ghostly first demos. Maggi's naturalistic takes on Wild Songs are lo-fi and weave in field recordings as part of the scene. Those far-off touches of real atmosphere and places really help ground Wild Songs. Among the strangeness, those moments pull you back to reality: moments like at the end of "It's a Hard World for Little Things" when the sound of kindling snapping in a fire slowly fades up in the mix, or the howling pack of dogs that accompany Maggi on "Kaspar".
Compared with the sparseness of the rest of Estasy's material, "Locus Solus" and "Wild Wants" feel almost maximalist. On both tracks, electronic beats help to anchor Maggi's otherwise untethered melodies: the playful beat of the former allows his subtle melodies to feel almost whimsical, but the latter is elevated by drums to become perhaps the most intense moment on the whole record. It feels like a yearning, natural highlight of the set, as multi-tracked vocals swoop around one another with ease and grace.
Wild Songs is an apt title for Estasy's first record. Many of these songs feel like barely captured ideas, almost like happy accidents of rolling tape. Maggi's voice is the star, capable of inspiring genuine strangeness. Its undiluted innateness feels natural among the production's field recording feel. That said, Wild Songs is very rough and ready. At its best it can be utterly startling, but so far Maggi's Estasy project feels more intriguing than truly beguiling.- Acéphale

Estasy is the musical alias of Rome, Italy-based installation and performance artist Emiliano Maggi. After a few cassettes and CD-Rs, Estasy is releasing its full length debut, Wild Songs, on Acéphale (SALEM, Elite Gymnastics, How To Dress Well).
Wild Songs doesn’t sound like anything else, but it contains echoes from disparate sources. The first thing you’ll notice is Maggi’s voice, which has the range and timbre of an Italian Coloratura singer. Unlike many of today’s high-octave singers, this is not a falsetto; it’s a soprano. Sometimes it appears stark and alone, sometimes buried underneath ghostly vocal overdubs. Wild Songs sounds nothing like Norwegian black metal, but the mood that his music evokes is perhaps closest to the feeling of that genre’s obsession with death and romantic angst.
The songs on Wild Songs are varied in their instrumentation, with Maggi’s stunning vocals being the one constant. “Wild Wants” is one of the few tracks on the album built around an electronic beat, the simplest of 4/4 bass drum/snare one-offs, with single string acoustic guitar lines played in straight eighth notes throughout. Maggi dissolves this skeletal arrangement in an alchemic stew of echoed vocals, nature sounds, and a faint, warbling drone.
Other tracks are more stripped down: Maggi’s voice, a couple of overdubbed backing vocals, and an acoustic guitar, ukulele, or mandolin. “Buried Me” appropriately buries the arrangement in ambient field recordings, while “Kaspar” drives forward with intensity, attempting to outrun recordings of animal howls. Highlight “I Saw a Chapel of Gold” dispenses with these conceits and presents just an idyllic folk song in 6/8 time. This is the heart of the album, Maggi channeling lost traditions with melancholy, fully foreseeing the impossibility of the task but with an absolute conviction that he will succeed.
Wild Songs has a haunting quality that derives spiritually from Maggi’s recording process. All but three tracks on the album were recorded en plein air: amongst nature in fields and woods. The sounds of wind and nature, and Maggi’s tape recorder, blend into his spectral soprano to create a mythological world that modern civilization can no longer see, but which through acts of the imagination we might be able to hear.
The result is something like Alan Lomax’s field recordings trapped in Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Reference points include the Nordic folk music traditions currently being kept alive by acts such as Dvergmål, the lost memories evoked in William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops, the sublime other-worlds given birth to by Sigur Rós’s made up language, and most notably the proto-gothic funereal dirge of Nico’s post-Chelsea Girls trilogy of The Marble Index, The End, and Desertshore. Limited Edition LP of 1000. -

 Estasy: "Wild Wants"

The trembling falsetto of Italy's Emiliano Maggi, heard here as Estasy, first surfaced around 2008 with the release of his self-titled CD-R for Finnish label Ikuisuus and sustained momentum last year with a one-off on GvB called "Wonder." Since then, he's dropped the Whitelaugh Blackcry CS for Living Tapes, and now has a proper debut LP, Locus Solus, due in early 2012 for Acéphale. While "Wild Wants" is our first taste from the upcoming Acéphale release, Whitelaugh standout "Wearhorses" provides a vulnerable portrait of Estasy's performance, exposing each breath as a moment of tension or release. --Matt Sullivan
MP3: Estasy: "Wild Wants"

MP3: Estasy: "Wearhorses"

Whitelaugh Blackcry is out now on Living Tapes; Locus Solus is due to release in early 2012 on Acéphale Records

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