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Best of 2023

Walter Maioli

Il Suono delle Api / La Vibrazione del Cosmo (LP)

An absolutely stunning effort from one of the great journeymen of Italian experimentalism, Walter Maioli's 'Il Suono delle Api / La Vibrazione del Cosmo', issued by Villa Lontana Records, is electroacoustic music at its absolute, vibrant best. Pressed in two extremely limited editions on black and transparent vinyl and laden with rich tonalities, deep drones, and hypnotic arpeggiations, it's a truly mind-melting, free-standing sonic world that encounters Maioli at the top of his game.

Super Tip! ** LP w/Obi.  140gr black vinyl. Much-needed repress ** A pioneer in every sense of the word, there is arguably no figure in the history of 20th and 21st Century Italian music more fascinating and important than artist, researcher, flutist, and composer Walter Maioli. For roughly 50 years, he has forged a singular path, bridging ancient forms of music - spanning numerous cultures - with a visionary, experimental imagining of what the future might be. While his discography is dense and deep, it’s been 20 years since his last release, making the Rome based Villa Lontana Records’ latest release, Il Suono delle Api / La Vibrazione del Cosmo, a truly momentous event. Walter Maioli binds the listeners to an atypical notion of place and time alternating across the album field recordings and tracks made by using a variety of primitive and contemporary musical instruments from different cultures, all resembling the humming sound of bees; an animal as sacred as well as endangered throughout the planet.

Converging in an immersive realm of Maioli’s inner/outer experience Il Suono delle Api / La Vibrazione del Cosmo features among others Riccardo Sinigaglia on synthesizers and Gabin Dabiré’s balafon, bounding once again the outer edges of ambient, new age and experimental music. This album is electroacoustic music at its absolute best, reminding us decades in, that Maioli still rests at the forefront of experimental sound. Issued by Villa Lontana Records in two very limited editions on 180 gr vinyl with obi strip in a stunning gold sleeve; 200 copies on black vinyl and 100 copies on transparent vinyl. This one is as stunning as they come!

Walter Maioli first emerged onto the scene of radical Italian music during the early 1970s as a member of the seminal outfit Aktuala. Founded with his wife Laura, joined by a remarkable cast of rotating members - Lino Capra Vaccina, Antonio Cerantola, Daniele Cavallanti, Marjon Klok, Otto Corrado, and Trilok Gurtu - the band, while living and playing communally, pioneered a hybrid idiom that joined the sounds of various ancient musics and indigenous traditions from across the globe, with decidedly avant-garde and experimental temperaments, fostered within the contexts of folk and rock & roll.

As the '70s and '80s wore on, Maioli split his efforts between numerous musical ventures, founding equally important projects like Futuro Antico, Amazonia 6891, and Gruppo Afro Mediterraneo, as well as delving into a fascinating world of research into the sources and instrumentation of ancient and prehistoric music, developing a singular approach to experimental archeology and musicology.

Resting at the borders of ambient, new age and experimental music, La Vibrazione del Cosmo / Il Suono delle Api, Maioli’s latest LP, mines the near entirety of this astounding range of experience and knowledge from across his astounding career. Drawing a wide range of sound sources - field recordings, primitive and contemporary musical instruments from numerous cultures, and synthesis - the album emerges as a futuristic vision, locked in constant conversation with the ancient world. Cycling textures and untraceable buzzes intermingle with deep waves of harmonic drone, metronomic percussive passages, industrial resonance, sweeping, fractured ambiences, and moments recall the heights of Neu! era kosmiche, coalescing as cosmic journey perfected with such a rare sense of artistry that it boggles the mind as it enrapt the soul.

Recorded during the summer of 2020, as well as containing two bonus tracks from 1982 and 2002 that have never been released on vinyl, Walter Maioli’s Il Suono delle Api / La Vibrazione del Cosmo is an absolute triumph from one of the greatest figures in Italian experimental music; a mind-melter that’s impossible to get off the turntable once you’ve sunk into its incredible world. By far one of the best records that we’ve heard all year, it’s available in two very limited editions on 180gr vinyl with obi strip in a stunning gold sleeve; 200 copies on black vinyl and 100 copies on transparent vinyl, with liner notes containing original texts by Maioli. Essential as they come and not going to sit around for long. Grab it while you still can.

Cat. number: VLR002-RE
Year: 2021

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