Dislocation Dance

Now with great pleasure but also with a pair of frazzled ears and a shattered brain-pan I at last feel able to bring you word of the other release by Ezio Piermattei, the Italian mystery outsider who sent us two astonishing albums from Pescara in December 2011. No nearer have I come to discovering very much about him, apart from hints dropped in the enthusiastic email communications from Napo Camassa, one of his collaborators, who happens to be living in London just now. [1. As Zenlo, Napo released Skelethal Antics for the Porter Records label, which is also regarded as a classic of music made by “somone in their own and singular world”.] The previous item by Hum Of Gnats caused my writing hand to dip into the box of extreme adjectives I normally reserve for Faust records, but the distinctive taste of this record by poisucevamachenille has left a somewhat different impression on my febrile auditory unit. Just 31 minutes long, a single track, but a highly condensed and compressed nightmare journey through music and sound. It’s all composed, performed and sung by Ezio Piermattei, and Stefano D’Emilio is credited as producer. It’s an overpowering and delirious escapade into musical madness which, if you’re a regular reader of TSP, you really cannot live without.

poisucevamachenille (OUTLINE RECORDS NO NUMBER) is probably nothing to do with noise, dissonance, or anything avant-garde. In one sense it’s pop music, but very heavily disguised, and reimagined by an intense visionary who cannot resist playing with melody and de-producing his multiple-overdubbed songs at every opportunity. The recording studio is used like a paintbox (the paintbox of Jackson Pollock), exploiting as many crazed and unnatural effects as the creator can get his agile little paws onto, moving freely across fader levers and filter effects with the joyous madness of a Lee Perry or a Xentos Jones. Songs half-resemble synthpop hits from the 1980s or corny folk-ballads from the psychedelic age complete with acoustic guitar strums, but sabotaged by their nonsensical lyrics, and a vocal delivery style where all the words are swallowed and sung through the plugged-up nostrils of a rabid badger. Barely has the tune managed to get into its “groove” before it’s derailed and detourned, by use of phasing, cut-ups, overdubs, foreign materials brought in, or any other technique that can be be deployed to “disrupt normal listening pleasure” [2. I’m grateful to Jonathan Romney for coining that phrase. He memorably used it to describe Song Cycle by Van Dyke Parks.]. The production method moves beyond the eccentric in short order; it becomes positively operatic in its excess, and in a parallel universe Ezio Piermattei would have made good as the quintessential producer for over-the-top Italian prog rock LPs around 1973-74. I can just imagine a mix between this LP and Biglietto Per L’Inferno. Such an LP would be condemned by the authorities, slated by the press, banned by the Vatican, and widely deemed too shocking to even exist!

poisucevamachenille is not only twisted avant-pop, though. Using these almost-melodic hooks and riffs that are half-familiar to the ear is one very effective method of introducing the poison into our bloodstream. The record also displays elements of improvisation, over-simplified semi-classical compositions, and found samples from movies or TV (though apparently they are field recordings from Ezio’s trips in Europe). The composition and assembly alone must have taken months of slavish editing work to achieve this wild degree of musique concrète styled effects (on a par perhaps with the early Mothers Of Invention LPs – it’s certainly as powerful as those), yet it also feels effortless, casual, as though the deranged content simply pours out the consciousness of the creator in an unstoppable stream, and all he need do is turn on the microphones. The whole suite has a vicious turn of mind, veering from the wildly hilarious to the deeply sinister and terrifying, often in the space of seconds; I’d feel safer locked in a room with a laughing schizophrenic. This material matters because it is pure anarchy, raw freedom somehow trapped onto the grooves of a record, and made repeatable. With beautiful but inexplicable cover collage artworks by his partner Barbara Gileno, this is a gloriously insane record which I can recommend without equivocation. No wonder they both think of themselves as “dislocationists”…

Of possible interest:
Hum Of Gnats review
Podcast from 27/01/2012