Friday, 24 December 2004

The Best of 2004 (and Merry Christmas)

01 NEW ORDER : In Session
02 REVENGE : One True Passion V 2.0
03 VARIOUS : Twice As Nice

05 SWAMP CHILDREN : So Hot (expanded reissue)
06 MORRISSEY : You Are The Quarry
07 BJORK : Medulla
08 EL MUNIRIA : Stanza 218
10 DIAFRAMMA : Volume 13

Still waiting to hear essential releases like Frank Black's Frank Black Francis etc...
Label of the year: LTM with THREE records (02, 03 and 05) in the top 10!
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2005, waiting for a new New Order album in spring and some new releases by Gabrielles Wish and La Skarnemurta!

Monday, 13 December 2004

Cool As Ice / Twice As Nice

In these two years the always excellent LTM (Les Temps Modernes) has given us two CDs collecting some of the best releases produced for Factory Records (and connected labels) in the early and mid 80s by New Order members (under the name Be Music), legendary New York DJs Arthur Baker and Mark Kamins, and Donald Johnson of A Certain Ratio. These compilations alone justify the very name of the label, these songs have remained mostly a rarity for connoisseurs of the scene, and yet they sound, more than modern, like hidden gems from the future.
You hear it from the explosive start of COOL AS ICE, 52nd Street's Can't Afford To Let You Go, a lost electro masterpiece we now rediscover thanks to LTM. The fact these compilations take their titles from one of their few but wonderful singles is just appropriate. They've been one of the less popular Factory bands (except some cult status in the American dance club scene), and moving to Virgin later didn't help their career, but their songs tower above everything else on these albums. People can have a weird taste, and you see it from todays charts. In my world, 52nd Street have kicked Madonna off the number 1 of the mainstream charts (though they actually came earlier).
There's also the seminal Looking From A Hilltop by Section 25 (formerly a great post punk band as well), cited by many house and techno pioneers as an influence, and tracks by Quando Quango (with guests like Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Simon Topping from A Certin Ratio), the band of Mike Pickering, future Hacienda DJ and leader of M People, Marcel King (formerly of Sweet Sensation) and Paul Haig (from post punk cult heroes Josef K).
Top rarities come from the deliciously weird Thick Pigeon (formed by Stanton Miranda and future movie soundtrack composer Carter Burwell), Life, a band formed by Andy Robinson, then already a New Order crew member and now their manager since Rob Gretton's death and there's even the Theme by Be Music (actually New Order's Peter Hook on this track).

You may wonder how LTM can better such a compilation. Well, wait until you've heard TWICE AS NICE. Again the amazing, breath-taking masterpiece comes from 52nd Street. I've thought they couldn't have made a better song than Cool As Ice for years, and here I've discovered the absolutely perfect electro funk of Look Into My Eyes (produced by Johnson of course), the best funk track ever, trust me, yes even better than anything by the fantastic ACR. That beginning when the fat groove made of fabulous bass and percussions with keyboards blasts on the thin guitar is worth the price of the CD alone (which is cheap anyway, but you know what I mean). And that's the fifth song, the compilation has another awesome start with their own Express, something between the classic funk of the 70s and the house funk sampling of the late 80s. In other words, a timeless futuristic classic.
In those times Mark Kamins was producing Madonna (never forget she did excellent electro stuff like Everybody before moving into straight successful pop) and Cheyne, who even was supposed to release Into The Groove, but things went differently so here we have Call Me Mr. Telephone from an obscure singer who had a rather similar voice as well.
You can hear New Order's Bernard Sumner practicing his guitar for Low Life on Shark Vegas' wonderful You Hurt Me and Royal Family And The Poor adding electro to their frightening dark but charming post punk.
Quando Quango appear on this CD as well, with tracks which make you wonder how could they sound so ahead of their times. You'd believe me if I told you they were released in 1989, and I'm talking about a decade when four years meant a huge evolution, unlike these conservative (when not reactionary) times. More artists returning from the first compilation are Marcel King, Thick Pigeon, and Section 25 (with the fantastic Sakura, blending deep punk bass with frenzy sequencers), while New Order appear as a full band with the extreme futuristic electro terror of Video 586 (this is a 6 minutes 'edit', the original is 22 minutes...), a gloriously minimalistic and experimental track which was a turning point in their evolution towards Blue Monday.
Of course both CDs are absolutely recommended.
Be Music page on LTM, for more info, tracklists and purchase orders.

Tuesday, 30 November 2004

Bad Santa recommended

Go to the cinema and see Bad Santa, definitely the best Christmas movie ever, very funny with some touching moments that never degenerate into sentimental excess, the script mantains a perfect balance and is graced by an absolutely excellent performance from Billy Bob Thornton. There's also one of the last screen appearances by the late John Ritter. The always drunk Santa and his elf rob malls and swear a lot, but a fat retarded kid somehow will change things, just an excuse for a load of fun.
The paper issue of Uncut awarded five stars to the movie, saying 'Bad Santa is a towering achievement'. You can read an interview with Lauren Graham (female protagonist) on the magazine site.
Bad Santa on (from which the picture is taken)
Babbo Bastardo on (the Italian edition).

Saturday, 24 July 2004

The Blue Nile return! Really!

Just when it seemed so unlikely The Blue Nile, the legendary pop band last seen eight years ago with Peace At Last, return with a new album, High, on August 30, apparently released by Sanctuary Records. Another great comeback release for that label after Morrissey's wonderful new album, You Are The Quarry, which followed a seven years silence...
The Blue Nile were the only band in the 80s to match Prefab Sprout's talent for intelligent and emotional pop music. They released even less records, as High will be only their fourth... Peace At Last was a much delayed following to their two true masterpieces, A Walk Across The Rooftops and Hats.

Friday, 16 July 2004

Bjork's forthcoming new album Medulla

BJORK has collaborated with a wide variety of artists on her forthcoming album 'MEDULLA', such as beatboxers including former ROOTS member RAHZEL.
According to Billboard, 'Medulla' was produced by Bjork, with help on four tracks coming from longtime collaborator Mark Bell. Matmos, Mum's Valgier Sigurdsson, Olivier Alary and Jake Davies supplied the programming.
The LP is currently scheduled for an August 31 release in the US.
Read more here.

Thursday, 1 July 2004

Tora! Tora! 2004

Da Viaggi Di Musica:
- Sabato 10 luglio Castelnovo Monti (Reggio Emilia): Afterhours, Appaloosa, Cesare Basile, Frankie Hi-Nrg, Hoghwash, Lemeleagre, Marco Parente, Mariposa, MiceVice, Paolo Benvegnù, Verdena, Zen Circus
Domenica 11 luglio Castelnovo Monti (Reggio Emilia): Anonimo FTP, Cut, Diva Scarlet, Giardini di Miro', Giorgio Canali, Le Vibrazioni, Lotus, Max Gazzè, Northpole, Shandon, The Valentines, Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti
Prezzi: 15 Euro un giorno, 20 Euro due giorni. Apertura cancelli ore 16
- Sabato 11 settembre Ex ospedale Pini, Milano: 4 Fiori per Zoe, Africa Unite, Afterhours, Après la classe, Breakfast, C.V.D., Caparezza, El Muniria, Gatto Ciliegia, Linea 77, Marta Sui Tubi, Meganoidi, One Dimensional Man, The Valentines, Uochi Toki.
Domenica 12 settembre Ex ospedale Pini, Milano: Anonimo FTP, Avion Travel, Bugo, Cesare
Basile, Deasonika, Dog a Dog, Egokid, Luca Gemma, Midwest, Modena City Ramblers, PGR, Skiantos, Valentina Dorme,Verdena, Yuppie Flu
Prezzi: 12 Euro un giorno, 20 Euro due giorni. Apertura cancelli ore 14

Monday, 28 June 2004

The Pixies' triumph at Italian Festival

I just have now the time to write I have seen the Pixies for the first time in my life at the Jammin festival in Imola last week, Italy and it was one of the best experiences in my whole life... they're amazing... they played after a nice but belated concert by PJ Harvey and did almost all my favourites, it's a pity they didn't do
anything from Bossanova, but I won't ever forget the massive sonic and emotional impact of songs like Caribou, Debaser and Tame... what a lesson for every band emerging since their split... it's been a triumph, The Cure headlined and had the most of the audience, but the Pixies' fans were more than the expected and made much more noise...

Sunday, 27 June 2004

Gabrielles Wish reform!!! New site address

Gabrielle's Wish after a year out from making music have reformed with plans for touring and making a new album. The band have been rehearsing at Butterfly Music with former drummer Bo Walsh. The official site has a new address

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Stephen Street and John Leckie producing New Order

From Billboard: New Order have enlisted producers Stephen Street (Smiths, Blur) and John Leckie (Radiohead, XTC) to work on their next studio album. No release date has been announced for the as-yet-untitled set.
Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook will be on hand May 23 at the Ritz in Manchester for a memorial concert in honor of late Joy Division/New Order manager Rob Gretton. Sumner is expected to join Doves during the latter's acoustic performance, while Hook is tipped to perform with A Certain Ratio.

Sunday, 2 May 2004

RockSound a rischio

Qualcuno si potrebbe chiedere come mai gli ultimi numeri di RockSound non sono apparsi in edicola. La casa editrice madre, la Ixo Publishing, francese, ma con pubblicazioni in vari paesi d'Europa riguardanti musica e motori, è fallita. Un altro giornale importante della stessa casa, Rolling Stone è stato rilevato dalla Quadratum, che è l'editrice di Intimità, ma per le riviste di nicchia pare che ci siano più incertezze. Per maggiori informazioni consultate gli articoli di Il Barbiere Della Sera e Prima OnLine.

Saturday, 1 May 2004

Rob Gretton Memorial with A Certain Ratio and Doves

A memorial night for Rob Gretton (who died five years ago), the Joy Division and New Order manager, and founder of Manchester Records, the former label of Gabrielles Wish, will take place on May 23 (starting at 7.30 PM) at the Ritz in Manchester. All proceeds will go to charities. The night will feature former Factory Records' boss Tony Wilson paying homage to Gretton with A Certain Ratio and Doves (playing an acoustic set), plus DJ sets by Mike Pickering (former member of Quando Quango, M People, DJ and director at the Factory venue The Hacienda), Jon DaSilva, Graeme Park and Mr Scruff. Tickets from TicketLine.

Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Nuovo EP dei Marlene Kuntz in uscita

Si intitolerà Fingendo La Poesia il nuovo EP dei Marlene Kuntz in uscita il 28 maggio prossimo.
Oltre al brano che dà il titolo all'EP, saranno presenti due tributi a due tra i più importanti personaggi della canzone italiana: "Alle prese con una verde milonga" e "Non gioco più", rispettivamente di Paolo Conte e di Mina .
Completeranno il lavoro una nuova composizione a titolo "Il vortice" e due strumentali, di cui uno registrato dal vivo nel corso dell'ultimo tour estivo.

Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Hear the new Morrissey single!

You can hear the new Morrissey single streaming on Irish Blood English Heart will be released on May 10 on Sanctuary Records and will include three B sides.

Wednesday, 21 April 2004

Jammin Festival 2004

Domani, 22 aprile, dovrebbe cominciare la vendita dei biglietti per il Jammin Festival di Imola. I prezzi sono di 32 Euro per un giorno e 68 per tutti e 3.
Il 18 giugno suoneranno i Massive Attack, il 20 ci sarà Lenny Kravitz, ma la giornata più attesa è senz'altro quella del 19, dove i Pixies suoneranno dopo Delta V e PJ Harvey e prima di Ben Harper e The Cure.

Friday, 9 April 2004

Pixies to release 15 live albums

The Pixies will release on limited edition CDs the recordings of all their North American live dates. The CDs can be purchased only at shows or through the DiscLive site. More details also on the NME news report

Saturday, 3 April 2004

Portal change the name to Veto

Portal, the band formed by former Gabrielles Wish members Paul Ryan and Darren Moran, who have made their live debut last Sunday at the Kraftwerk Tribute night in Manchester, decided to change the name of the band after discovering there are others already using it. The new name is Veto. Other live dates will follow in May and June.

Friday, 2 April 2004

Pixies in Italy!

The Pixies have reformed and will play at the Heineken Jammin' Festival in Imola, near Bologna, on June 19.
For more info on their world tour visit
Wave Of Mutilation - Best Of The Pixies, a CD with singles and B sides and Pixies, a DVD with videos, interviews and a concert, are forthcoming releases.

Wednesday, 31 March 2004

Stanza 218 di El Muniria in anteprima su Homesleep

Stanza 218, l'album di debutto di El Muniria, il nuovo gruppo di Emidio Clementi (ex Massimo Volume) uscirà il 16 aprile. Primo concerto assoluto della band il 3 aprile al Covo di Bologna.
Sul sito dell'etichetta Homesleep è possibile scaricare l'MP3 della title track dell'album, Stanza 218.
Su Loser è possibile ascoltare in streaming altri tre brani di El Muniria.

Sunday, 28 March 2004

New Order: new BBC Sessions album

New Order release on 14 April a new CD of BBC sessions, with tracks broadcasted in 1998 and 2001. The CD is enhanced as it also include a filmed performance of Transmission in 2002 for John Peel's 40th anniversary at Radio 1.
More details at and World In Motion.

Nuovo romanzo di Emidio Clementi

Emidio Clementi, ex leader dei Massimo Volume e oggi fondatore di El Muniria, è anche un grande scrittore: ha pubblicato la raccolta di racconti Gara Di Resistenza (Gamberetti editore, 1997) e i romanzi Il Tempo Di Prima (DeriveApprodi, 1999) e La Notte Del Pratello (Fazi, 2001).
E'uscito ora finalmente il suo nuovo romanzo (interessante anche in quanto autobiografico), L'Ultimo Dio, sempre per Fazi. Ecco un'ottima presentazione dal sito di Fazi.

Saturday, 27 March 2004

El Muniria, collaborazioni importanti

Sull'album di debutto di El Muniria, il nuovo gruppo di Emidio Clementi (ex Massimo Volume), Dario Parisini (ex Disciplinatha) e Massimo Carozzi, dovrebbero apparire ospiti prestigiosi come Paolo Cucco (Mau Mau), Vittoria Burattini (Franklin Delano), Steve Piccolo, Francesco Donadello (Giardini Di Mirò), Paul Shilton (Quickspace) e Mauro Rigoni (personaggio dei romanzi di Clementi...).

Wednesday, 24 March 2004

Offlaga Disco Pax vincitori del Rock Contest

Gli Offlaga Disco Pax hanno stravinto il Rock Contest, sia per quanto riguarda la giuria di Controradio, composta anche da Emidio Clementi (ex Massimo Volume, oggi El Muniria), Paolo Benvegnù (ex Scisma) e Francesco Magnelli (ex Litfiba e CSI), integrata dal voto del pubblico, che la giuria della critica composta da rappresentanti di tutte le testate musicali. Sul sito di Controradio a metà pagina c'è un link ad una finestra pop up con un breve articolo sulla serata e soprattutto la splendida Robespierre degli Offlaga Disco Pax da ascoltare in Real Audio streaming.
Il gruppo suonerà al centro sociale AQ16 di Reggio Emilia il 16 aprile.

Monday, 22 March 2004

Nuovo album dei Diaframma

Volume 13 è il nuovo album dei Diaframma, autoprodotto e distribuito da Self, che vede la partecipazione in tre brani di Fabrizio Massara dei Baustelle. Contiene alcune canzoni splendide, di grande impatto, come Il Sogno Degli Anni 70 ed Elvis Ed Io, e momenti toccanti come Day-Off.

Sunday, 29 February 2004

Kraftwerk tribute night with former Gabrielles Wish members

Portal is the new project of Paul Ryan and Darren Moran, formerly guitarist and bassist in Gabrielles Wish. I'm proud they've chosen their name after my suggestion.
They'll play at the Kraftwerk Tribute night at the Manchester Roadhouse, Sunday 28 March 2004, from 6 to 11 PM. Advance tickets are £5.
Hedzjellmo will also play, though former Gabrielles Wish drummer Nick Harris has temporarily quit the band (who have found a new drummer anyway) to concentrate on keyboards.
On the News page at the Gabrielles Wish site there's the flyer with the full bands list.

Wednesday, 11 February 2004

Three unreleased tracks on the Gabrielles Wish site!

Some news from Gabrielle's Wish, the band which supported New Order and blew me away with their sound, virtually Joy Division if they formed in the 90s (and actually they were produced by Chris Nagle, Martin Hannett's sound engineer, also on Unknown Pleasures and Movement), mixed with a bit of Section 25 and The Fall... it's a honour they wanted my fan site to become official...
I'm really proud and happy to make available for the very first time three fantastic Gabrielles Wish tracks as MP3 files on the Sounds page.
They are two absolutely storming live tracks and a fabulous instrumental demo.
Also added is the second part of former manager Jeff Grainger's brilliant article about the band.
"...Gabrielle's Wish were (New Order manager) Rob Gretton's favourite band, the LP he listened to every night when he got home was 'Processed' (their unreleased LP)..."
Gabrielles Wish official site

Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Revenge album features two brand new tracks

Reading the booklet article of the absolutely excellent reissue of One True Passion by Revenge, the band of Peter Hook from New Order, we learn that the first two tracks, Televive and The Wilding, are not only unreleased but are basically brand new as Peter Hook has rewritten them, rerecorded them with New Order's live guitarist Phil Cunningham and produced them with New Order's programmer Roger Lyons. So, more than a decade after their last release (the Gun World Porn EP, included in the reissue with unreleased and remixed tracks), we have two tracks not only from their past, but actually new and made last year. For more info and orders visit the page of the release at LTM.

Monday, 9 February 2004

LTM reissues Swamp Children

Swamp Children, one of the most underrated Factory bands, have had a much deserved and needed rerelease of their album So Hot, enhanced with a collection of singles. The band featured A Certain Ratio's Martin Moscrop at the drums and eventually evolved into the slightly more known Kalima. For more info and orders visit the page of the release at LTM.

Monday, 19 January 2004

Offlaga Disco Pax, l'ascesa continua

Gli Offlaga Disco Pax continuano a suscitare interesse con la loro originale proposta, musica intensa ad accompagnare la recitazione di testi evocativi, una scelta che può ispirare un paragone lusinghiero coi Massimo Volume...
Si segnalano due date ben promettenti in febbraio: il 13 suoneranno al Fuori Orario di Taneto, vicino a S. Ilario d'Enza (RE), di supporto ai Baustelle.
Il 14 al Calamita di Cavriago (RE), di supporto agli Yuppie Flu.

Friday, 2 January 2004

New Revenge album out now!

LTM has just released the new album by Revenge, the band formed by New Order bassist Peter Hook and featuring future Monaco singer David Potts, and in my opinion the best side project of them all. It's a brand new edition of the 1990 album One True Passion, extended to a 2CD version featuring a load of unreleased tracks and the 1992 EP Gun World Porn.
Here's the tracklist of One True Passion V 2.0, including the second CD, Be Careful What You Wish For:
Tracklist Disc 1 (OTP V2.0): Televive, The Wilding, Deadbeat, State of Shock, Little Pig, Cloud 9, Jesus I Love You, Pineapple Face, Big Bang, Slave, 14K, Bleachman, Surf Nazi, 7 Reasons (demo), Amsterdam, It's Quiet.
Tracklist Disc 2 (BCWYWF): Underworld, Deadbeat (Gary Clail dub), State of Shock (US edit), Pineapple Face's Big Day (US remix), Pineapple Face (Pickering & Park remix), The Trouble With Girls, Wende, Slave (Joe Smooth edit), I'm Not Your Slave (US remix), Hot Nights / Cool City, Surf Bass, Bleach Boy, Soul, Kiss the Chrome, Fag Hag, Precious Moments, Pumpkin.
For more information and orders visit the Revenge page on LTM.