Ecstatic / Europe / 2020
Master synthesists Colin Potter (Nurse with Wound), Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving), and Guido Zen (Vactrol Park, Brain Machine) reprise their supergroup for Ecstatic with a seductively serpentine follow-up to their superb debut from a couple of years ago.
PNZ’s pulsing, twanging, expansive ‘Magari’ was recorded between 2018-2020 in the slipstream of ’Shut Your Eyes On The Way Out’, which is surely one of the strongest new kosmiche-related albums of recent years. Where that album refreshed classic styles of European synth music for modern ears, ‘Magari’ - meaning “I Wish” in Italian - adapts their style to the unique Afro-Latin lilt of Brazilian music with central use of the Berimbau; a single-stringed percussion instrument commonly associated with the elegant martial art/dance of Capoeira, which the band’s Guido Zen brought home from his travels in South America. Combined with their juicy, almost fleshly arps and Guitar pedal-generated computer voice, the results are wonderfully wide-eyed, embracing bouts of motorik rhythm beside vertiginous noise wormholes and mystic tone poems that speak to a cumulative experience spanning decades spent hunting for life between the wires.
Like their first LP, much of the recording took place remotely or in pairs, and rarely with all three present, before the parts were mixed down at Colin’s studio in Leytonstone. In its journey between the intricate meters and perpendicular vectors of ‘Too Much Traffic’, and their mesh of curdled tones with their phone recordings of a manic preacher in Camberwell on ‘Saved’, they variously recall Craig Leon’s alien invocations of Dogon folk tales as much as the heady dissonance of Alessandro Cortini; producing outstanding pieces of tangibly haptic substance in ‘Sergio’ and infectiously tip-of-tongue Berimbau twang on ‘Gennaio’, and for good measure, something like Phil Collins gently losing the plot after healthy dose of Ayahuasca in ‘Fill’, while ‘Ancora’ sounds like Basic Channel scoring Herzog’s Aguirre