Got this wonderful email the other day, from an artist that I have tons of respect for, “Hello Justin, I am Paolo Spaccamonti, a Turin-based musician, do you remember me? On the 9th of March I will be releasing the vinyl version of an album I co-wrote with Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubaten’s guitarist) on Boring Machines and Escape From Today and I was wondering if you might be interested in reviewing it.” Well hell yeah! He did me right last time with another collaboration…”This is an absolutely incredible find, so overjoyed sometimes that these things come to me, because how in the world would I even know that this unassuming record would be so massive.”
And so Paolo this time comes to me with another collaboration, this time with Jochen Arbeit of Einstürzende Neubaten. Double hell yeah! I know in the real world musicians can’t approach a reviewer that way, they have to send impersonal press releases by the dozens, but it sure is nice for the music lover to be connected personally for a moment with the musician. So what do you get when extremely talented guitarists together with a shit ton of effects? Brilliance, plain and simple. Well, maybe not so plain and simple. I’ve been listening to it for about a week and a half, off and on, probably the whole thing 6 or 7 times, and I trip on it every time. With my headphones on it’s just me and the music, first thing that comes to mind is layered atmospheres, the songs don’t fly by, they float on. It’s not hippie at all (although my inner hippie wants to eat a sack of mushrooms and give this a spin) , but it has this laid back Ravi Shankar-ish vibe, jamming to a drone, kinda thing. I am reminded of something very old, but this is as modern as it gets. Emotionally, it’s relaxing to listen to, although it’s almost sinister at times, without being evil. This is not good or evil, it’s beyond that, it’s to guys creating on a primal level, the compositions are in the act of being sculpted. Maurizio Blatto wrote a very nice piece about the record…
“Only if you know symmetry you can break it. Only where the dark has reigned, you can escape. Places have sounds. CLN is the album by Jochen Arbeit and Paolo Spaccamonti. CLN place is the city of Turin exoteric center joint. With two fountains depicting Po and Dora Riparia rivers, in perspective symmetry, and two twin churches exactly behind them, in San Carlo place. Through the lines of the tracks, two guitars stare at each other, but instead of chasing each other, they take slight different directions. Like being close to a defined and straight rail path, but choosing rather to grow free close to it. In an apartment overlooking CLN place, the first homicide is committed in the horror movie Profondo Rosso by Dario Argento. A sentient woman is slaughtered by an axe. The dark force of the album is an elegy, reverberating on a rigorous architecture. In CLN place, tourists often point their finger, with an uncertain smile, seeking for the right window of that apartment. “Did it really happen there?”. The swollen blast of the guitars appears always consciously managed, like noise being taken by the hand and thrown elsewhere. Jochen and Paolo got to know each other in Turin, while the speakers in a bar were diffusing the notes from Rumors, an album by Spaccamonti. Arbeit liked it so much that, after a few months they gathered again in a studio, without any preordered plan or scheme. But defined perimeters materialize often freedom, and three hours of recordings distilled thirty minutes of sounds. Redefined, thinned and carved. In CLN Place, Gestapo held their quarters during the nazi occupation of the city in World War II. For this reason, the significance of the location was mended from its history and the place was renamed, dedicating its name to the National Liberation Front. Every sound needs to be reshaped, in order to build something new from it. The concrete beating of Einsturzende Neubauten (of which Jochen is a member) and the cinematography on electrical chords by Paolo. This is the theatrical exposition of psychedelia as iron and fleeing sounds as narrative. CLN: a place, this record”.
Pretty deep huh? In fact, this record is deep, probably a lot deeper than I am able to fathom, not being a musician myself. When this comes out on the 9th it will be available digitally of course, but also as 180gr white vinyl…hell yeah!