Reviews

ROCKERILLA Magazine (Italy)

review by Aldo Chimenti

Vostra Signora del Rumore Rosa – L.P. Furry Heart records 2018

“…Un labirinto di ambienti sonori che emana vibrazioni arcane”

BLOW UP Magazine (Italy)

review by Stefano Isidoro Bianchi

Vostra Signora del Rumore Rosa – L.P. Furry Heart records 2018

“..Larve bellissime di canzoni perfette..”

 

cover
*****

I think we’ve become jaded and lazy as far as new music goes; in what we listen to, the way we listen to it, where we get it, and what we pay for it. At the risk of being called an old fart (I am, but that’s beside the point) I recall a time when ever new album was a special event; something to be savored and cherished. Yeah, there was the radio, but it mostly played “songs,” not complete works. It was a taste- incomplete and usually only the highlight or “hit”, not the whole work. (A bit of a different situation with classical music, but that’s another story.) The point is, with so many different music outlets and formats, we tend to take it for granted. Stealing music on the ‘net is commonplace. Many new music artists give it away just to get known. Nearly everybody streams their stuff, so you don’t have to pay anything to hear it (not to mention YouTube), just to own it. To some extent I think that cheapens the experience, and also cheats the artist. But if you can’t listen to it (radio is a dead, at least here in the U.S., for most new music artists) how are you going to get it to the people who will most appreciate it? Record companies (labels) used to pave the way, grease the right palms, and obtain exposure for new artists. Now it doesn’t work that way anymore, partly because the labels can’t afford it, and partly because they’re unwilling to do the kind of work they used to do. The whole game has changed and it’s up the artists more often than not to promote their product. With so many out there doing that though, it’s a cacophony of sound where one has to slog their way through so much crap to get to anything really good. This is where folks like me come in. I don’t necessarily think reviewers are the arbiters of what’s good and what’s not, so much as guideposts pointing potential listeners in the right direction. Yes, we’re all biased to some degree as no one can be completely objective when it comes to an art that is just so subjective. However, a good reviewer should be able to provide context and maybe even some nuance when it comes to description and qualification.So why the big long preamble here? Maybe because this is a review of something so far afield from the norm that it warrants some expository treatment. When I come across unfamiliar music that purports to be “avant garde” I tend to wince because it’s a genre that is often refuge to the talentless and inept, music utterly lacking in palatability or associated redeeming features. (Just because it’s weird doesn’t make it good.) I am most pleased to say though that L# Collivasone’s ‘Vostra Signora Del Rumore Rosa’ (Your Lady of Pink Noise) is not that dreadful, poorly conceived and executed kind of avant garde music, but the real deal. A little background on Luca Collivasone (AKA: Doc. Luden Looksharp, Aston Baxmaq, L #, L.L.Looksharp): this Italian musical genius/savant began his artistic career as a musician at the turn of the ’80s as founder and guitarist of the band Aus Decline. He then studied classical guitar and various programs for the production of music with computers, composed soundtracks for documentaries, tv shows and advertising. He played with the Italian rockabilly band Stiletto, then later (2006-2013) established the art-punk/rock ‘n’ roll/retro band The Masked Marvels which toured extensively in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France. Post-Masked Marvels Luca formed the band Iarballe, playing prepared guitar and a small synthesizer accompanied by a bassist and a drummer. It was around this time that he stumbled on the concept of the “Cacophonator,” the primary and only instrument (excepting Collivasone’s voice) played on this album.

The Cacophonator was made from an old (1940’s) Singer sewing machine he found in a junk shop, that he modified with an assortment of strange sound producing elements. To see this contraption you would have no idea that the sounds on this album would even be remotely possible from some an archaic device, but they are. It really sounds as if it was made using some hi-tech combo of sophisticated modular synthesizers and samplers. (He calls it the “Concrete Music Machine”.) A bit of Collivasone’s philosophy regarding this work – “Slow down. Remove technology with its sure result. A strong idea becomes the first musical instrument…” There is much more but you can chew on that for now.
So what does this sound like? Well, a wide variety of things ranging from subtle ambient to chaotic experimental electronic. Dynamics are quite varied; quiet at times, loud at others; sometimes beatless, sometimes rhythmic. The album is comprised of nine tracks all with different motifs, moods and sonic palettes. “Alpha Crucis” which open the album is low-key ambient and kind of droney. The title track features a poetic recitation by Luca (in Italian) with slow beats, twisty, contorted sounds amidst light bellish tones and the occasional moaning, groaning bass. “Tropicantor,” one of the longer pieces on the album, begins with a variety of low tones, then ghostly moaning oscillators enter the picture. Also eventually some squeaky sounds in a repetitive pattern, with a slow noise as well. This piece also has a vocal recitation, a short phrase repeated like a ritual chant. Collivasone concocts a plethora of odd electro-acoustic sounds for “Everything About Her Was a Lie,” backed by an off-kilter rhythm. The bizarre vocal track on this one just has to be heard. If there could ever be a hit single from this record (which is highly unlikely) this would be it. There is even some sort of stringed instrument solo (warp guitar??) but all that is coming from the cacophonator.

Moving to side 2 we begin with “Bela Bite” which uses a simple metallic rhythm over which bowed, scraped and plucked string sounds, bass and little noise elements interact. The piece grows noisier over time as the volume increases. There is a definite buzzy machine-like ambience in “Sanguisuga,” also with heavier beats which begin a basic rhythm you could even dance to. In fact, this is REAL industrial dance music, but not the kind you may be used to hearing. (I’d recommend this as the B-side of the non-hit single.) “Anus Pelicanus” almost sounds like its title, but I was thinking “duck farts in a shallow bathtub”. String plucks and woodwind squeals over that strange duck-farting sequence on a repeating loop with blasts of noise interspersed. My description doesn’t do it justice. “Rain On Your Parade” might be as close as we get to a conventional song with Luca’s spoke-sung lyrics and repeating chorus, but it’s not that close. Finally, “Caramel Moon” is a musique concrete fantasia with just about everything in it including a rudimentary beat. Usually when I’ve listened to this much avant-garde music I’ve had enough for a while but this album just makes me want more. Highly recommended for its concept and execution, but you’ll need some quiet time to process it all. Thanks Edwina (owner of Furry Heart Records) for sending me the vinyl rather than just a download link. Tangible product is always appreciated, and I’d recommend the vinyl over the download.

BLOW UP Magazine (Italy)

05-01-2017″..Lovexpress “Stars” is the best Italian Album of 2017″ Stefano Isidoro Bianchi.

 

L♥XP⥌⥌

Sincerest of apologies to Luca Collivasone who sent over copies of his latest aural adventure, admittedly a while back now, turntable teething issues partly being blamed for the thus far lack of coverage along with our own inept absent mindedness to get to it earlier. Now for regular visitors to these pages, the name Mr Collivasone might well indeed strike a distant bell, for at least two of his previous releases as Doc Luden Looksharp and Cranio where featured, loved and dispatched with fond words in earlier missives. This time, as part of a trio, he heads up a curiously off kilter combo going by the name L♥XP⥌⥌ – which to us mere mortals roughly translates as Lovexpress who’ve just put out a new full length, incidentally pressed on blue wax, called ‘Stars’ for the Furry Heart imprint of Italy. Agreeably skedaddled, not so much in a fried and freaky way as his previous two incarnations (Cranio a misfitting post punk sponge that provided that year with one of its finest releases, Doc Luc Sharp – a more insular manifestation that peered through the apertures of outsider pop fusing elements of glitch, dub and industrial) but rather more for the fact that this gathering is straight ahead and instantly more accessible in terms of sound, style and technique. That said with Mr Collivasone in attendance, both yours, ours and his idea of straight ahead might well vary quite vastly in description, appreciation and appearance. Listened to in one sitting, ‘Stars’ sounds oddly, yet satisfyingly, out of time, fashion and currency, a strangely mutant affair that has the sense and wherewithal of something that’s been dropkicked out of 1980. At once clever and impish, it trains its sonic eyeline on the vibrant anything goes fluidity of punk’s fallout period, stirring into its genre hopping brew a sonic concoction drawn from a peculiarly crooked pop palette that waywardly appears to absorb and retune everything it touches and hears – art wave, new wave, no wave, post wave, minimalist funk etc….. Still scratching your heads, well maybe a short description from the trio might help .. ‘pop culture meets industrial, noise, psychedelia, shitty jazz, improv ….’ In truth I’m seriously of the mind that they are underplaying their collective craft, no more so is this in perfect evidence than on opener ‘enfant plastic’ which across its 8.27 duration starts and finishes from and at the same point, yet between those two book ends goes off for a wander via a series of cul de sacs, dead ends and a brief moment of dreamily noodling oddness all the time constantly morphing anew touching at various junctures Devo, Wire, Yello and strangely enough Henry Cow, I kid you not. Parting track ‘yes sir’ I think I might be right in saying rewires, blanches and skews Baccara’s 70’s global pop juggernaut ‘yes sir I can boogie’ into a shapeshifting after dark anti-anthem whose austere sheening and head tripping funk floatiness, not to mention, wiry electronic daubing channels elements of Simple Kid a la ‘the road’ and Clinic albeit as though jettisoned back several decades and found sporting their wares on a newly fledging Some Bizarre imprint. Both title track ‘Stars’ and the pursuing ‘puncture’ on the other hand mooch and feed in the shadowy terrains muddying the fault lines between Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, the former additionally spiked with some seriously smoky eastern-esque riffola that much recalls the superior flip side of Bowie’s ‘the lodger’ album with the latter employed of the same tropes though freefalling more into a pre ‘Godstar’ PTV back catalogue replete with niftily edgy fret work a la Fripp via ‘scary monsters…’ All said, we must admit something of a soft spot for the seizure inducing skittish sore thumb ‘king kong’ which initially I was minded to cite Atari Teenage Riot and Locust as close relatives, but then again, its strange mutant funkiness distantly owes its dues to Herbie Hancock’s ‘future shock’ though here as though radically rephrased and fractured by a gathering of Basement Jaxx and Battles types.

doc. luden looksharp

Mentioned this briefly a few weeks back, the result of which its author sent out copies on rapid despatch which I must admit having heard it in its entirety has somewhat initiated worrying looks from our hi-fi.  Now those of you with a thing for left field oddness and weird ear groove might well consider all your musical birthdays colliding at once because this is an exceptional slab of off the wall deconstructive pop. The work of Luca Collivasone, he of musical mischief makers .cranio and here found under his impishly bonkers boffin guise Doc Luden Looksharp (indeed don’t ask us – I’m only the messenger) armed with his musical morphing concrete sound generator, which by all accounts is a bastardised vintage singer sewing machine built in tribute to Italo futurist composer Luigi Russolo, he set about locking himself away for long periods in his studio bunker experimenting with effects and techniques whilst musically mangling all manner of household objects and wiring the assembled sonic body parts into the six track suite that is ‘cacophonorgy’. Across this set many familiar generic pools are dipped into, fused and cross weaved to create new off kilter sound species’ which ought to appeal to those well versed in the outer spheres of glitch trance, dub, industrial and art rock. The set opens with ‘te ves Hermosa Cagando’ whose early Cabaret Voltaire styled no wave earthbeat veers into terrains wherein a youthful PIL collide with Neu! Somewhere else the minimalist trance-tech of the dub draped ‘Go back in time kill all your parents’ is the sound of Depth Charge being industrially disfigured by 70 Gwen Party and then force fed through an Autechre shredder emerging the other like a dystopian nightmare of terminator terrorisms. In some twilight zoned parallel universe toasters and various kitchen appliances will be frazzling their fuse wires to this damaged mutant disco salvo while for us mere mortals those ever having a John Peel moment and finding themselves playing some 1919, play dead or einsturzende neubauten release at the wrong speed will be fully prepared for the schizoid happening that is ‘long eroin nympho’ (my oh my where do they get these titles from). Likewise over on the flip of the disc opener ‘I see living creatures’ utilises wiring Dadaist mind cleaning devices which for the best part freefall into the kind of frenetic head flipping territories oft enacted on wax by the mighty Atari Teenage Riot before that is the onset of all manner of manic Krafterk-ian doppelgangers come crashing the mix. Of course those of you preferring your listening delights somewhat grimly frazzled and monastically maudlin in the kind of sombre throat singing dread of say – Soriah – are minded to seek out the quite disturbing ‘motormouth’ – the less we say about the Mysterons (cue – older listener joke) the better. ‘at the mountains of madness’ wraps up matters though not before equally chilling n freaking out your listening space with a slab of eye popping and head expanding no wave-ing super noise psych discordant derangement. Not sure how many of these babies are around or where you’d manage to nab a copy though following the link below should bring you closer to ownership. And ownership you should want for aside being pressed up on bright green wax ‘cacophonorgy’ is essential ear gear for those preferring their sonic pill a little more challenging and off-piste.

 

Trapano e musica new wave
Il dentista dalle vite diverse

Odontoiatra di giorno, la notte inventa suoni e strumenti a molle e corde

di Eleonora Lanzetti

Si divide tra otturazioni e musica new wave il dentista underground che ha inventato il generatore di musica concreta. A Pavia i suoi pazienti non si stupiscono di certo se durante un intervento di impiantologia, nell’attesa che l’anestetico faccia effetto, Luca Collivasone sperimenta melodie e suoni. È fatto così, è un dentista affermato e molto apprezzato, ma sui generis. Due vite, o forse qualcuna in più. Luca, medico odontoiatra 55enne, di giorno indossa camice e mascherina; di sera, invece, trucco drammatico sugli occhi e smalto nero. È in quel momento che la sua grande passione lo trasforma in Doc Luden Looksharp, l’artista influenzato dalla musica concreta di Pierre Schafferre e dall’elettronica. «Ho iniziato al liceo con la musica punk new wave — racconta Luca —. Poi sono approdato alla medicina senza perdere la voglia di creare suoni. Sono due lavori artigianali, di costruzione, eliminazione o conservazione».

(Marcella Milani)
(Marcella Milani)

Nel suo studio dentistico il dottor Collivasone è al passo con la tecnologia, costantemente aggiornato e aperto all’innovazione. Per produrre musica, invece, recupera pochi oggetti di uso comune, li assembla e li suona. «La tecnologia ci impigrisce troppo, ho voluto limitarmi e sfruttare le potenzialità delle piccole cose». La sperimentazione di questo odontoiatra rock ‘n roll lo ha portato addirittura a crearsi uno strumento: il cacophonatore, una macchina in grado di manipolare suoni ai fini compositivi. Apparentemente caotici ma con un senso. «L’idea di costruirmi uno strumento musicale unico nel suo genere mi è venuta da un rigattiere quando ho visto il mobile di una macchina da cucire. Quella pedaliera e quel volano, hanno alimentato la mia fantasia». Così, oltre al sintetizzatore, su quel carrello vintage di legno ci finiscono molle, strisce di gomma, viti, cose che si possono trovare in qualsiasi cantina. Da spremere, strofinare e far girare.

Durante le sue performance non ci sono canzoni o tracce; non esiste una scaletta da concerto, ma passaggi continui senza interruzione. Lontano dalla poltrona, da molari e canini, Doc Luden Looksharp gira l’Italia e l’Europa suonando musica aleatoria; quelle melodie che si creano da sole, dal caos, senza riferimenti di metrica. «Ora sul cacofonatore ci sono corde di violoncello che girano su una ruota, un ingranaggio recuperato da una discarica, ruote dentate, pentolini, elastici di gomma, un carillon, qualche giocattolo di mia figlia smontato e un trapano turbina di un vecchio riunito— spiega –. Suono da quasi quarant’anni, ma devo ammettere purtroppo che adesso bisogna fare i conti con la crisi dei live. Si preferiscono i dischi, suonati da un pc. Trovo ancora terreno fertile nei festival di musica sperimentale e come accompagnamento di esperienze artistiche, fotografiche e installazioni».

I pazienti si affidano alle sue mani laboriose, coperte da vistosi anelli con pietre e teschi (che crea da solo con la cera persa), e quando scoprono che suona ed incide dischi «particolari», vogliono sapere le date dei concerti per ascoltarlo. Che Luca Collivasone non sia il classico dentista lo si capisce anche giù dal palco; questa sua immagine unconventional, però, non rappresenta un problema. Chi entra nel suo studio non si sdraia solo sulla poltrona, scopre un mondo a cui resta fedele: «Diversi pazienti sono piacevolmente colpiti da questa mia doppia vita e vengono ai miei concerti — racconta —. Non è una musica di facile decodifica, ma chi capisce gli intenti validi, rimane fedele e accetta che io sia un dentista underground. Li faccio ridere non solo perché gli sistemo i denti».

© RIPRODUZIONE RISERVATA

doc looksharp

L♥XP⥌⥌ feature among their number a certain Luca Collivasone who on occasion masquerades beneath the nom de plume Doc Looksharp who when everyone else has left the studio, alone and under the cover of darkness, crafts sinister symphonies that come alive at witching hour, these weird ear sore thumbs inhabit the outer spheres of the electro minimalist consciousness. ‘tongues pong’ gathers together an eerily dislocating selection of such strange sounds, his second album following 2015’s quietly acclaimed ‘cacophonator’. From that set, ‘ghast larva’ has been sent ahead on scouting detail. Much like something you’d have expected to be the source of some lively conversational debate between the much missed mixing it’s celebrated radio 3 hosts Sandell and Russell back in the day, ‘ghast larva’ squirrels and squirms into life, like a cartoonish stop motion animation portraying some surreal looking creation pressed into existence by the slow unfurl of brush stroked detailing, likewise here, the starting point is very sparse all the time gathering and sharpening into both form and clarity, swiftly shape shifting using Louis and Bebe Barron as an anchor point whilst veering between polite nods to Muslim Gauze and Kreidler.  

TERRASCOPE Magazine (UK)

By Simon Lewis- 2015

 Inspired by Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo and his self constructed noise generators known as intonarumori, Doc Looksharp decided to create his own device using an old Singer sewing machine and a host of household objects such as springs and rubber bands, the resultants sounds then fed through loopers, echoes etc (Something Russolo never enjoyed as he died in 1947) to create pieces of Avante Garde noise that mix Musique Concrete, Industrial sounds, and surreal playfulness with the more difficult moments in Kraut and Psych.

Opening with the sinister pulse of “Te Ves Hermosa Cagando” (depending whether the tracklist on the label or sleeve is correct) the music could be the background for a strange film-noire, the pulse coated in strangeness and unexpected sounds. On “Go Back In Time, Kill Your Parents” things seemed to be moving in slow motion, rumbles, creaks and a distorted rhythm sounding like the Aphex Twin on Ketamine, a mangled vocal line adding a disturbing atmosphere to the piece, the title of the track repeated over and over. Even harsher, the sounds at the beginning of “Long Eroin Nynpho” are the equivalents of robotic nails across a virtual blackboard, the uneasy listening augmented by a deep vocal offering to fuck you, the lyrics cut up and hardly romantic, the whole piece charged with tension reminding me of Throbbing Gristle, only the beat making sense to your ears.Over on side two the fun continues with the playfully titled “I See Living Creatures” another dense track that seems to encompass the entire history of experimental music within its grooves, crackles and beats fighting it out until the beats become victorious, the track becoming almost a song, heavily treated vocals merging with the rhythms reminding me of the Beastie Boys playing “Intergalactic” at an industrial convention.

Warmer in tone “Motormouth” is full of chimes and melody, with some (almost) throat singing added in and a guitar, quite possibly not a guitar, creating simple solos and textures, the whole album finished off by “At The Mountains of Madness” a dark cloud of drone that sweeps across the landscape coating everything in a thick layer of noise and then driving the point home with a throbbing bassline that sounds like Hawkwind buried deep within the desert and unsure of the way out, the track finally collapsing in on itself as the energy dissipates and scatters to the four winds, only to return briefly before burning out.

Whilst there is definitely a harsh and difficult undercurrent to this album there is also plenty of warmth and humour, the resultant mix a highly entertaining collection that bears repeated listening, all hail the cacophonator. (Simon Lewis, Terrascope)