Label: Black Sweat Records
** Much needed reissue ** Don't let the name mislead you! The enigmatic M. Zalla is one of the numerous aliases of the italian maestro Piero Umiliani who, during his period of fascination for psychedelic and electronic atmospheres, started to compose a good number of musical portraits dedicated, as the title reveals, to the problems of his time. In the early '70s, Italians were worried about the mafia, terrorism, and social conflicts; and one can sense that the music represents these anxieties in its experimental nature. Dark, disturbing, and unique in the long and extremely productive career of Piero Umiliani. And if, in 2015, titles like "Mondo in Crisi," "Problemi Sociali," "Azione Sindacale," and "Mafia Oggi" sound sadly relevant, it's even more surprising to find that the music of Problemi d'Oggi (Problems of Today) still sounds alien and unique. The record, released under Umiliani's M. Zalla alias in 1973, presents various styles, from Pink Floyd atmospheres (or The Braen's Machine, if you prefer...) to compositions characterized by a great use of drum machines and Moog synthesizers. One listen to the beginning of the opening track "Produzione" justifies the words of Sean Canty (Demdike Stare), citing the music as the first techno/trance track in history. But between the grooves of this record, reissued here for the first time, it's easy to find moments that many other artist and musicians -- from The Residents to Aphex Twin and Four Tet -- may have caught during their careers.