Repossessed by the past, bitten once again and forced to relive drama, history, memories, tradition and roots. A past that needs exorcizing, bending and re-imagining in order to move forward and depend on. This is ‘Rimorso’, Mai Mai Mai’s colossal mediterranean gothic album.
Known for his incredible blend of Southern Italian Folklore, industrial drone, proto-techno & punishing miasmic electronic music, Toni Cutrone aka Mai Mai Mai approached ‘Rimorso’ with a clean slate. Following ‘Nel Sud’ (La Tempesta International, 2019) and his mediterranean trilogy ‘Theta’ (Boring Machines, 2013), ‘Δέλτα’ (Delta) (Yerevan Tapes, 2014) and ‘Φ’ (Phi) (Not Not Fun Records / Boring Machines, 2017) the Roma based noise artist recreated his spirits of the past by collaborating with musicians and ethnomusicologists that work on the present, on traditions that are still passed on and morphing continuously, healing our nostalgia for a lost future. ‘Rimorso’ sheds the past heavy use of samples and sound manipulation in lieu of a human element: voices, percussion, lap steel guitar all embedded in a rich cultural heritage.
From ‘Fimmene Fimmene’, a recontextualized protest chant of female tobacco workers in Salento, sung majestically by Nidi d’Arac prodigy Vera Di Lecce, to ‘Nostalgia’ where Beirut born Youmna Saba literally soars over a futuristic Arabic melodrama on the verge of ascension, ‘Rimorso’ is an album that treads black waters, were phantoms dance ceremonially, tip-toeing around the heart. ‘Sind’ revisits one of Faraualla’s (Puglia female quartet known for their repertoire of a cappella vocal polyphonies) pieces with techno outsider Cosimo Damiano and the vital percussion of the Ars Ludi ensemble; ‘Mediterranean Gothic’ sees Mike Cooper’s tropical exotica plunge into the abyss, witch hymns under a black sun rising; ‘Musica Nova’ loosely based on Musicanova’s ‘Pizzica Minore’, features Nziria’s neomelodic stratifications (Tullia Benedicta) hovering on a slow thump chopper, a pulsating techno serenade; led by the visceral voice of Maria Violenza ‘Secondo Coro delle Lavandaie’, an obscure gem of Italian folk music, mixes hypnotic voodoo drumming and an enchanting choir filtered through a Southern Gothic lens; album closer ‘Antiche Memorie’ is heightened by maestro and longtime Battiato collaborator Lino Capra Vaccina (vibraphone, gong, percussion), purveyor of cosmic sheen and placid elegance.
‘Rimorso’ is Mai Mai Mai’s new ritual, turning absence into presence, dismissing nostalgia for consummation, an immersion into the temporal disjunction we are experiencing through the essence of human fabric.
‘Cutrone deserves admiration for how much he crams into such a short space of time, preventing the listener from ever locking the record into the straightjackets of genre and influence’ - The Quietus
‘Mai Mai Mai trades in energising blasts of biomechanical synth noise which snarl and throb like a demonically possessed star cruiser’ - The Wire
‘Diggin this f-cked, weirded out, atonal mad shizzle from Rome’ - Kevin Martin aka The Bug
‘Mai Mai Mai records rich and challenging drone, ambient, and electronic music, which is often as elegant as it is abrasive’ - Bandcamp Daily