MAMUTHONES: Mamuthones (Boring Machines)


Posted on Feb 15th 2011 01:29 am

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Mamuthones: Mamuthones

Boring Machines 2011
07 Tracks. 45mins45secs

Amazon UK: CD

Originally the solo project of Alessio Gastaldello, the former drummer with psyche-pop oddball formation Jennifer Gentle, Mamuthones has so far manifested itself through a collaborative album with Fabio Orsi on A Silent Place almost three years ago, and a solo album on Boring Machines in 2009. This third Mamuthones album sees Gastaldello joined by long term friend and Jennifer Gentle frontman Marco Fasolo and sixty-two year old drummer Maurizio Boldrin, an Italian drummer who has worked with numerous bands.

In many ways, Mamuthones sounds like a throwback of late eighties dark experimental ambient tinted with equally bleak streaks of darkwave, but the trio use this to set a particular tone and they continuously refine this approach, pulling deeper with each new song. Bearing few common features with Gastaldello’s largely drone-infused previous outputs, this album is a much rawer and more vivid affair than its predecessors. Often driven by Boldrin’s loaded drumming, the tracks collected here form a disturbing atmospheric soundtrack which never ceases to intrigue, yet never quite reveal its true identity.

The album opens with the minimal textured sound collage of The Call, formed of recurring dissonant chords which are beaten into submission with plucked bass strings and occasional percussions, which wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a sixties sci-fi TV series, but things take on a much darker turn with The First Born. At first caught between a barely discernible two-note guitar motif and a claustrophobic drum pattern, the track fills up a bit past its half way mark as the guitar becomes more prominent for a moment, while Gastaldello places electronic decoys along the way. Things go up a notch with Ota Benga, which swaps the rumbling tone of The First Born for a much more primal groove, once again served by Boldrin’s heavy tribalism, and splintered with fragments of cosmic keyboards, slashed by Fasolo’s distorted vocals. The piece appeared in a different form on the previous Mamuthones album, as did Kash-O-Kashak, which here develops the hypnotic approach of Ota Benga much further, its sonic core considerably bulked up by much earthier keyboard injection, caught in swirls of fuzzy guitars and noise which gain momentum for much of the piece, until it eventually consumes its last remaining hints of energy and collapses upon itself.

When they reach for altogether calmer and more introspective plateaux, the trio occasionally venture into dreamier moments. This is particularly the case on A New Start, which, devoid of any percussive interference, provides the space for a light ambient soundscape, which finds an echo later on with the kosmische-tinted MJ74, a piece actually recorded by Boldrin almost forty years ago, cast in breathy electronics and haunting vocal harmonies, and delicately framed with all sorts of bells and chimes.

The epic closing piece Ave Maria brings together the various components of this album, as the trio review cavernous soundscapes, dissonant drones, pulsating drum patterns and disturbing vocal textures , combining them into a rather unsettling atmospheric construction which stretches over thirteen minutes. The piece reaches is peak a couple of minutes before its conclusion as the tension set by the combination of all the above come crashing down in a thunder of drums and noise to reveal a lone voice and organ, as captured on a low quality recording device, bringing this album on a beautifully serene note.


Mamuthones (MySpace) | Boring Machines
Amazon UK: CD

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