M.B. / MAURIZIO BIANCHI, IT
ANDREA “ICS” FERRARIS, IT
CD + DIGITAL RELEASE
EDITION: 300 COPIES
RELEASED JANUARY 8, 2012
MASTERED IN GENOA BY MARTINO SAROLLI AND EMILIO POZZOLINI.
COVER PHOTO BY EDOARDO PASERO.
2. Severe Provata
3. Turmentaj Abscesoj
4. La Eternulo Prenis
5. Falsaj Amikoj Sugestis
6. Pro Lia Fido
7. Pli Ol La Komencajn
PREFACE: A salutary protagonist existed in proved real life with his disorientating trials at the lewd hands of Satan, his captious discussions with false friends on the origin and nature of his terrifying accidents, and finally a wise response from the pleased God. Despite our different beliefs we both think he has been a vigorous example of praiseworthy perseverance in suffering. Could we be the same? “Vir-Uz” is helping us to do that and all our sincere efforts will be highly appreciated.
NOTES “The majority of the field-recordings you hear on this work have been taken inside the Jewish cemetery of Alessandria. This CD contains a sample from Ur and one taken from an improvisation featuring Luca Mauri and Luca Sigurtà. My part of the record is dedicated to the loving memory of Giovanni Moretto and Nicoletta Morello who have been directly and indirectly involved with my encounter with the philosophy of Job, but most of all for their beautiful academic work and for having given me such a challenging experience, you will be missed.”
Italian composer Maurizio Bianchi (1955) produced his first tapes of noise in the early 1980s, at the peak of the industrial scene, but his chaotic dissonant orgies harked back to the musique concrete of the 1950s, despite similarities with Nocturnal Emissions, Metabolist, Whitehouse, early Throbbing Gristle. He debuted under the moniker Sacher-Pelz with the home-made cassettes Cainus (1979), Venus (1980), Cease To Exist and Velours, later collected on Mutation For A Continuity (Ees'T). They were all-instrumental collages of electronic sounds. Mectpyo/Blut (1980) was the first cassette to be released under his own name. Under the moniker Leibstandarte, Bianchi released his first vinyl albums: Triumph of the Will (Come Organization, 1981), which recycled material already released on cassette, and Weltanschauung (1982). His most relevant works came out under his own name: Symphony For A Genocide (Sterile, 1981), possibly his most terrifying work, Nh/Hn (Grafika Airlines, 1981), Menses (Mecptyo Sounds, 1982), another classic of horror-shock musical reportage, divided in two lengthy suites (particularly Scent). There followed less powerful works, such as the film soundtrack Morder Unter Uns (Mectpyo Sounds, 1982), and two "softer" albums divided in two lengthy halves each, Regel (Mecptyo Sounds, 1982) and Mectpyo Bakterium (DYS, 1982), possibly his softest album of the decade. He quickly return to his usual standards with Endometrio (Mecptyo Sounds, 1983), his second artistic peak and the manifesto of his "bionic" aesthetics, the more accessible Carcinosi (Mecptyo Sounds, 1983), Das Testament (Mectpyo Sounds, 1983), announced as his last record and containing two of his most extreme suites, and the film soundtrack Armaghedon (Mecptyo Sounds, 1984), all of them comprised of lengthy free-form suites of noise. The one notable exception was The Plain Truth (Broken Flag, 1983), in the vein of German electronic music. Industrial Murder (Banned Production, 1992) and Aktivitat (Zabriskie Point, 1992) collect unreleased and rare material.
After a long hiatus, Bianchi returned to music with a metaphysical trilogy of sort, Colori (Ees'T, 1998), First Day Last Day (Ees'T,1999) and Dates (Ees'T,2001), in which religious and philosophical themes dominate, and the sound is much calmer and almost ambient, while Frammenti (Ees'T,2002) and Antarctic Mosaic (Ees'T,2003) seemed to hark back to his original style of the 1980s.
Chaotische Fraktale (2003) and Letzte Technologie (2004) are collaborations with Frequency In Cycles Per Second (Sandro Kaiser). Zehn Tage/Touka (Afe, 2004) and The House Of Mourning (Radiotarab, 2005) were collaborations with German duo Telepherique. Through these collaborations, Bianchi slowly returned to atonal industrial music. The hypnotic Cycles (Ees't, 2004) explored different kinds of loops and pauses. A M. B. Iehn Tale (Small Voices, 2004), a collection of "piano decompositions," (minimalist/ambient pieces for piano and electronic dissonances) and the double-CD Mind Us Trial (EEs't, 2005) continued his regression to darker moods. M. I. Nheem Alysm (Silentes, 2005) contains two lengthy piano suites a` la Cycles (Ees't, 2004). Blut und Nebel (Slaughter, 2005), that "remixes" the first ten LPs of the early 1980s, is an excellent demonstration of Bianchi's skills at dadaistic collage, free-form improvisation and abstract soundsculpting, as accrued over twenty years of electronic manipulation. Noise is employed like an electric guitar to produce solos of manic intensity. Junkyo (Noctovision) and Mectpyo Saisei (Para Disc) are collaborations with Aube. New collaborations include: Psychoneurose (Manifold, 2005) with Land Use, one of the best of this phase, Final Signal (2005) with Frequency In Cycles Per Second, Secluded Truths (Silentes, 2005) with NIMH. Bianchi's prolific career continued with Niddah Emmhna (Silentes, 2005), Neuro-munalp (Small Voices, 2005), Men's True Hated (Menstrualrecordings, 2005), The Testamentary Corridor (Staalplat, 2006). The Epidemic Symphony No 9 (Octpia, 2006) is actually a work mainly by Japanese soundsculptor Hitosji Kojo. Arkaeo Planum (Small Voices, 2007) is a collaboration with Italian sound artist TH26. Psalmodiam (Menstrual Recordings, 2007) was a collaboration with M.D.T that was based on Psalm 63 (Bianchi is a devout Jehovah's Witness). The 4-cd set Together's Symphony (Silentes, 2006) is a collaboration with NIMH (Italian composer Giuseppe Verticchio).
In recent years also many reissue of deleted material were released.
On August 19, 2009, due to non specified personal reasons, Maurizio Bianchi decided again to completely stop making music.
Born in 1974 Andrea Ferraris is a self-taught musician coming from a hardcore/experimental background, he started touring Europe during the nineties and recorded with bands like Burning Defeat and Onefineday. While evolving his listenings and his technique he started playing with musicians hailing from an heterogeneous background be it rock, electronics, etc. With the passing of years he started following his attitude for experimental music, using more and more effects/instruments and different techniques and started playing “cheap electronics” and/or laptop.
Actually he plays with the electro-acoustic ensemble Airchamber 3, with the kraut-industrialist combo Ur, with experimental-psychedelic group Luminance Ratio and with IDM post-drum & bass duo Ulna. He’s played/collaborated/recorded with: John Russell, Me Raabenstein (Nonine recordings/Slowcream), Maurizio Bianchi, Mark Beazley (Rothko), Andrea Marutti (Amon/Never Known), Claudio Parodi, Gianni Mimmo, Giuseppe Verticchio (Nimh, Hall of Mirrors), Michael Palace (Horchata) Marylin Tognolli (Kill the Thrill), Barbara De De Dominicis, Alessandro Cartolari (Anatrofobia), Nicola Guazzaloca, Matteo Uggeri (Hue/Sparkle in Grey), Cria Cuervos, Sil Muir, St.ride, Lonius, Valerio Zucca (Abstract Q/3EEM), Craig Hilton, Mujika Easel (Eisi), Luca Sigurtà, Harshcore, Matteo Uggeri, One Fine Day, Alessandro Buzzi, Deep End, Ultraviolet Makes Me Sick, Burning Defeat, En, Permanent Scar, Polis, Bobby Soul/Contesti Scomodi.
He has s a bunch of releases out on the following labels: Afe, Tophet Prophet, Karlrecords, Camera Obscura, Taalem, Genet records, Green, Fratto 9 under the sky, Zahr, Shove, Household Name, Loveboat, Chewz.
Andrea currently writes for Chaindlk, Sodapop and among the others has interviewed: Lydia Lunch, Jarboe, Guy Marc (Sub Rosa), Taylor Deupree/12k, Mick Harris, Foetus, Marc Clifford (Seefeel/Disjecta), Joe Lally (Fugazi), Tim Rutili (Red Red Meat/Califone), Maurizio Bianchi, Eraldo Bernocchi, Cerberus Shoal, Scott McCloud (Girls against Boys), Teho Teardo.
WONDERFUL WOODEN REASON
There’s no information on the who of this album but the MB is almost certainly Maurizio Bianchi. Bianchi is a long time purveyor of post-industrial noisescapes of the highest order. Here in conjunction with the enigmatic ICS he continues that streak of quality compositions with a set which has at its heart a more delicate and melodic sensibility than I was expecting to hear. There are still more than enough grinding gravelly textural sub-drones to keep even the most hardcore devotee of bleak music happy. But, added to this are a plethora of more, dare I say, delicate tonalities that give the pieces a sense of light and space that his other pieces sometimes lack. The darkest time may be just before the dawn but those subsequent hints of light fill the world with glimpses of enigmatic shapes and colours that are far more interesting.
ANDREA PIRAN / CHAIL DLK
This album from one of historic figure of industrial music (MB) and of a musical researchers for noisy constructions (ICS) is based on the idea of someone who receive “a wise response from the pleased God” and most of the field recordings are from the jewish cemetery of Alessandria as, as most of the release after his comeback from his well-known hiatus, this release is filled from the religious inspiration of his makers. The title track opens this release with a noisy rhythmic samples repeat rhythmically until sparse field recordings begin with quiet drones and, after an isolationistic second part, quiet and sharp noises occupy the musical canvas. “Severe provata” is a dialogical juxtaposition of drone and small noises. “Turnamentaj abscensoj” is an obscure drone carefully constructed for careful listeners. “La eternal prenis” is based on sparse guitar lines coloring the abstract soundscape. “Falsaj amikoj sugestis” starts with a noised quickly covered by metallic resonance until small noises clear the way for a drone that at last surrender to the quiet and sharp noises. “Pro lia fido”, the shortest track of this release, is a drony interlude to “Pli ol la komencajn” a slowly evolving metallic drones above which are juxtaposed the usual quiet noises. Even if it could be quiet predictable the dialogue between the almost serene drone of MB and the carefully constructed noise of ICS, this is a so well written record that it worth repeated and careful listening. Nice.
ALDO CHIMENTI / ROCKERILLA
Progetto di coppia che vede in azione l”highlander del rumorismo italiano MB (Maurizio Bianchi) e il vulcanico ICS (Andrea Ferraris), artista coinvolto in molteplici imprese fra cui UR e Airchamber3. In Vir-Uz, CD-album rilasciato dall”etichetta romana Farmacia901, è la forza del drone”n”noise a fare da centro catalizzatore per 52 minuti di ascolti virali e magnetici, sorta di trip subliminale che traghetta di deriva in deriva ai confini dell”impossibile uditivo, laddove prendono forma anatomie di musica per il terzo orecchio: gamme subsoniche e nuclei di rumori-ombra, particelle di micro (psico) acustica e loops a larga scansione, corde riverberate e pattern di provenienza allogena, visioni e codici segreti per la mente.
GUILLERMO ESCUDERO / LOOP
This is a collaborative work between the international acclaimed Italian artist Maurizio Bianchi and Andrea Ferraris [under the moniker of ICS] released by the label Farmacia 901 which is run by sound artist and graphic designer Fabio Perletta. The field recordings were mostly obtained inside the Jewish cemetery of Alessandria, also there is an improvisation of Luca Mauri and Luca Sigurta and a sample of Ur. ‘Vir-Uz’ contains seven long tracks which are inspired by the story of Job, a prosperous farmer. To prove his unwavering faith in God, Satan has stripped of all his possessions, his children, his house but he continued to trust in God. The relationship between this story and music are the long, dark soundscapes made of synthetic and analog sounds and in many passages of the album, several guitars apparently making a lot of distortion. The isolationist nature of this music is the perfect soundtrack for this story.
ANDREA PREVIGNANO / RUMORE
La figura di Giobbe è fonte nel mondo filosofico di discussioni su rettitudine e calcolo, su rassegnazione e convenienza. Personaggio misterioso, monolitico e perseverante, ha ispirato un lavoro dalle analoghe caratteristiche, Vir-Uz, collaborazione a distanza tra Maurizio Bianchi, il più grande protagonista della musica industriale/elettronica italiana, e Andrea “Ics” Ferraris (Airchamber3, Ur) geniale musicista della nostra area grigia. I sette brani per laptop, electronics, lettore dvd modificato, basso e vinili riciclati spaziano dai solchi polverosi della memoir music di La Eternulo Prenis che rimanda al Bianchi più ispirato di Menstrum Regles, ai cupi droni di Severe Provata, a field recordings (il cimitero ebraico di Alessandria) e materiale riprocessato da Ferraris dal repertorio inedito di Ur, Luca Sigurtà e Luca Mauri.
FRANS DE WAARD / VITAL WEEKLY
Another work in the vast catalogue of works by Maurizio Bianchi, here a collaboration with Andrea Ferraris, also known as ICS. The majority of the field recordings used here were made inside the Jewish cemetery of of Alessandria, along with an improvisation held with Luca Mauri and Luca Sigurta, a sample from Ur. The whole thing deals with the encounter of the philosophy of Job (I assume the ‘me’ on the cover is Bianchi writing). Is it because I know it uses cemetery recordings, or is that really ghostly voices humming around? Its obviously not easy to say, simply because I already know. I don’t know ICS that well as I do know the music of Bianchi, but it seems to me the latter has had a lot to say in this. The seven lengthy pieces of music are quite dark, but at times also pretty noise like, with distortion underneath. I might of course be entirely wrong, but at times it seems like they use a lot of guitars in this music, although there is no such mention on the cover. I am not well aware of the dealings of Job, but I do know he was tested a lot by God, and this music is certainly the perfect soundtrack for such an ordeal. There is no light in the black picture of sound. Fine sturdy ambient industrial in true play here. Fans of Maurizio Bianchi will not be disappointed, unless you were looking for an altogether new outlook on music. Somehow I don’t think that will happen. But perhaps that is not necessary.
JOSHUA MEGGITT / CYCLIC DEFROST
MB is noise pioneer Maurizio Bianchi, here working with Andrea Ics Ferraris on Vir-uz, an examination of the Biblical Job as exemplifying ‘praiseworthy perseverance in suffering’. Featuring field recordings from the Jewish cemetery of Alessandria, this is a dark, dense and difficult recording marked by muffled microphone buzz, fizzing electricity and distortion. Most individual pieces follow a standard, if vague and somewhat choppy, build-plateaux-decay structure, as foggy hum grows to a growl, granular hiss peaks and breaks up, and distant clanks, tings and whirrs puncture the backdrop like hail upon a windshield. The opening title work douses reverb over a clanky morse-code blip, tapped out on a rusted fence, while the sound of a train echoing through a subway adds to the drone and far off bells toll ominously. On ‘Severe Brovata’ the sound of turned soil and cemetery stone is cut up by the roar of a motorboat, seagulls adding a predatory rather than bucolic touch. ‘Falsaj Amicoj Sugestis’ and ‘Pli Ol La Komencajn’ both foreground an artful fumbling with live circuitry, sparks lighting against dead grey metal, but these moments are no less gloomy and opaque. This is difficult music to penetrate but that is clearly the intention, like following grains in magnified waves of distortion.
RICHARD ALLEN / A CLOSER LISTEN
The book of Job is said to be the oldest book of the Bible, which in its current form is not presented in chronological order. This also makes it the earliest Judeo-Christian attempt to answer the question, “Why does God permit suffering?” Some have condemned the book’s seemingly bludgeoning answer, while others have found great consolation in its pages. Job may suffer as we suffer, but his trials are worse than most will ever have to endure. The quick story: God and Satan make a bet that Job will not curse God even if things go horribly wrong. In the course of a day, Satan smites Job’s family, destroys his possessions and gives him a terrible skin disease. His friends come to visit, and at first are so shocked that they can do nothing but sit beside him in silence. Then they insist that Job must have done something wrong to deserve his disaster. Job remains inconsolable. He insists that he is blameless, and demands an answer from God. Finally God speaks to Job, asking, “Where were you when I made the world?”. Job “repents in sackcloth and ashes”, confessing that he should never have tried to speak of things beyond his understanding. An additional ending (not in the original manuscripts) mutes Job’s suffering, as God rewards Job’s perseverance by returning twice what he has lost. This neutering works against what may be the story’s main point: that Job simply wanted to know that God still existed, and was rewarded for his search. In his book God, Jack Miles posits that God is embarrassed by the paucity of his answer and subsequently retreats, assigning his future messages to angels and prophets. This fanciful reading ignores the fact that the manuscript is so old; in order for the theory to make sense, the book of Job would need historical placement after the Torah. MB + ICS (Maurizio Bianchi + Andrea Ferraris) have produced a sonic document that reflects the trials of Job, without the happy ending. The gurgles of the title track sound like the shards Job uses to scrape his sores; the bleak, deserted passageways of the album match the sparse, unforgiving desert. Vir-Uz is a lonely album, a desolate, detached and joyless suite that hints at understanding but produces only humility. A bell rings from time to time, but for no one; it’s just a bell. And yet, the very fact that the album has been produced – the winds allowed to blow, the insect buzzes to intrude – testifies that the artists have been inspired by Job’s struggle. Against all opponents, seen and unseen, Job goes on: his anger and confusion become his bread. By the end, he is transformed, honed, renewed, although possibly unsatisfied. Still, in a strange way, he has been blessed. The horror of Job’s condition is reflected in the album’s steadily growing drones. As the recording progresses, it becomes more immediate, mirroring the early stages of grief. The lonely, inhospitable tones of the middle tracks mirror the ineffective response of Job’s friends; in this, he is truly on his own. The rustlings found in the fourth minute of “Turmentaj Abscesoj” seem like those of a man unable to find comfort, or the stalkings of an unseen enemy. A choral hint emerges at the album’s center, intimating that some comfort may be near. Crunching distortion seeks to crush this modest hope. Organ tones and static shear suggest the arrival of the Almighty; this combination is a laudable attempt to score the unknowable. And then a fragile peace emerges: the border between knowing and not-knowing, presence and absence, God and not-God: the sublime in-between. In this place, Job will need to rest for the remainder of his life. MB + ICS do well to allow this moment to expand, instead of offering insertions, fake reassurances, Disney endings. Sometimes the struggle is all we have, and without it we remain undefined. Vir-Uz remembers the importance of the unresolved, and is more honest as a result.
LORENZO BECCIANI / DAGEISHA
Dietro alle sigle MB e ICS si celano due icone sotterranee come Maurizio Bianchi e Andrea Ics Ferraris che hanno focalizzato la propria attenzione sull’evoluzione della figura dell’uomo che si confronta con il divino ed il peccato. Buona parte dei field recordings sono stati catturati nel cimitero ebraico di Alessandria e in oltre cinquanta minuti di lamenti rumoristi, divagazioni spazio-temporali e schiaffi elettronici l’architettura del pensiero dei due artisti appare maestosa come mai in passato. Non riesco bene a capire se si tratta dello spessore del progetto, degli obiettivi tanti aulici o semplicemente di un disco riuscito alla perfezione fatto sta che ‘Vir-Uz’ risulta superiore a quanto uscito in ambito drone ambient negli ultimi due o tre anni. ‘Severe Provata’ e ‘Falsaj Amicoj Sugestis’ sono a mio modo di vedere i momenti chiave di un’opera che necessita di essere deframmentata per cogliere tutte le sfumature. Il crescendo che parte dalla title track è fantastico ma l’ordine cronologico dei brani finisce per limitare alcune potenzialità che invece tornano a brillare quando i frammenti vengono presi uno alla volta. Le certezze in questo vagare anomalo sono la splendida confezione realizzata dall’etichetta e l’urgenza del messaggio che non viene mai meno. Anche se non siete avvezzi a questo tipo di ascolti vi consiglio con tutto il cuore di dare fiducia a sette tracce in grado di mutare la vostra idea del quotidiano.
PAOLO MICELI / KOMAKINO
Notes specify that “The majority of the field-recordings you hear on this work have been taken inside the Jewish cemetery of Alessandria [...]”, this should be the right cognitive coordinate to pre-sense the main core of subtle esoteric feeling and mood of these instrumental recordings, to be taken like canon of a religious service, going from the echoing and soundscaping ambient of Pli Ol La Komencajn, Turmentaj Abscesoj, to the burning saturation and distortions of La Eternulo Prenis and Pro Lia Fido. Four hands record, M.B. + Ics, alias for Maurizio Bianchi and Andrea Ferraris, – not exactly two novices, if you have ever catch anything from the italian underground/invisible experimental scene of last three decades, – they explore the boundaries of that land of harmonies surronding the nearby holyness of Silence. Guitar noise scapes, drones, a cutting collage of samples and reverse sounds, an experience in searching for the absence of gravity: not for nothing, Vir-Uz ends with a final sound similar to a tombstone falling from the sky.
KAILAS ELMER / TREBUCHET MAGAZINE
MB + ICS’s album Vir.Uz explores the trials of Job through the medium of modern classical music. Maurizio Bianchi is in underground terms something of a legend. A purveyor of religious noise, a dark seeker, a dramatic artist and this rare collaboration rates amongst his very best. It’s testament to the greatness of this album that even its sarcastically overblown liner notes can’t ruin it. Meditations on Job and anti-semiticism have never sounded so joyous and the transposition of broken melodies and excruciating chordal progressions is at once disturbing and exciting. Tonally the palette of analogue, circuit bent, sampled and pre-processed sounds gives the album a forceful presence. The meditations on this record seem to have been carefully thought out and then performed live in a single improvisational flow of screaming catharsis. It has the tang of being the most sublime moment of musical ecstasy when everything went exactly right. And whilst elements of the album might purport to be random, it embodies a deep symmetry echoing the structure, form and feeling of liturgical music. The collapsing church atmosphere reaches its decaying zenith in “Falsaj Amikoj Sugestis” where choral voices, sputtering noise, feedback and other electrical waste zone in and out of orbits and buttress against other – each reaching height after height. The coda devolves into an entropic saw wave that filters into the brutal white light of “Pro Lia Fido”. Guitar noise, looped feedback and chiming metallic “angelic” pads. The penultimate musical trial subverts the idea of the marble relief, perhaps even of a God’s ability or will to be benign. In Vir-uz there is a suggestion that God’s role as a crucible for Job’s renewed faith is not altogether different to a torturer taking credit for a survivor’s strength. The investigation of Job depicted here is not the work of a warm paternal figure, and the peace that reigns in the final piece “Pli Ol Komencajn” is almost of complete abdication of self, a permanent state of unease and displacement which is inexorably drawn into a peaking (both in terms of levels and emotion) tonal rush. As the jack is literally pulled from the machine we are told without feeling that this is the end – a dark and arbitrary finale to a phenomenal portrait of the human soul.
Giobbe e il Diavolo. Giobbe e Dio. Giobbe e i suoi amici. Una delle figure bibliche più studiate, umane e terrene, il protagonista di questa lunga suite ad opera di Maurizio Bianchi e Andrea Ferraris. ‘Vir-Uz’, è una riflessione sulla dinamica dell’umano che si confronta con la divinità e con il peccato. Bianchi è un profondo conoscitore dei testi sacri e in questi sette movimenti riesce ad infondere in suoni e rumore la storia di un uomo che si è trovato a lottare con la tentazione di cedere alle strade facili della vita. Giobbe non soccombe alle seduzioni degli amici, rimane fedele al proprio credo nonostante la vita stessa sembri rivoltarsi contro di lui. Bianchi e Ferraris costruiscono oltre cinquanta minuti di sospiri rumoristi, dilatazioni temporali e salti nel tempo, fedeli ad una spinta sperimentatrice che fa della riflessione e dell’introspezione le pietre angolari di tutta l’architettura.
Vir-Uz is more than ambient. It is always difficult to categorize anything Maurizio Bianchi does (he’s the M.B). He’s a bit of an enigma, showing the link between industrial ambiance and outright aggressive noise. On Vir-Uz, while technically ambient, he does what he does best: he creates a tense sonic environment. Andrea Ferraris fits into this uneasy world perfectly, coming from an experimental/aggressive background. Since Andrea has worked with so many groups already (in fact his discography is quite formidable) he seems able to determine exactly where Maurizio wants to go. The opening piece sounds extremely grainy. Without any lower-frequencies it nearly grates on the nerves. Little twitches and pieces of field recordings come in, along with unstable sounds indicating a sudden collapse. ‘Severe Provata’ is a violent piece. It is a harsh, edgy drone. Inside the drone noises billow in unable to control themselves. ‘la eternulo prenis’ has melodies hiding within the sheets of noise. Even hearing a few wisps of melody is fascinating and somewhat unexpected given the nature of the two collaborators. This track is rather beautiful for its mix of violence and tenderness. It’s probably my favorite piece on the whole album. None of this is comfortable. All of it is extremely provocative. Even the field recordings are used in an aggressive manner. There are few (if any) breaks from this relentless tension. However this dedication to a specific mood is admirable. By refusing to ‘lighten up’ Vir-Uz creates an intense experience.
The CD is credited as MB and ICS but we thought we’d introduce a few more characters in the mix so you could find ‘em easily on the site. Why?? cos we’re nice… that’s why. This is largely comprised of field recordings taken from a Jewish cometary in Alessandria. Both Maurizio and Andrea are experimental pioneers in the field of electronics so this is an interesting one to fritter time away with. It’s not for the faint hearted though as it’s not a particularly easy listen. Dark foreboding ominous sounds, strange electronic buzzing, strange noises crop up out of nowhere making this an unsettling and dark listen. As ever with headphones on you get truly immersed into the world the artist(s) are trying to take you and you end up with a much more intense deep listen. There’s a strange sort of beauty in the music and one that I suspect will bare itself under repeated listening. But if you like dark sounding electronics and strange drones then this is something that would be well worth checking out!
EMILIANO GRIGIS / SODAPOP
Nella discografia di Maurizio Bianchi del secondo periodo, quello del ritorno sulle scene dopo la conversione, il tema religioso è sempre stato presente e in questo Vir-Uz, in collaborazione col nostro Andrea Ferraris, l’antico testamento la fa da padrone dato che il disco è un concept album incentrato sulla vita di Giobbe. Vir-Uz fa parte della lunga coda discografica che sta esaurendo le pubblicazioni di Bianchi, dopo il suo definitivo abbandono dalle scene nel 2009. Diviso in sette brani dai titoli in esperanto, il disco descrive tutti i momenti della storia di Giobbe, dalla tentazione alla buia disperazione fino ad arrivare all’estasi, il tutto espresso con forte emotività che se da un lato ricorda i lavori ambientali più dark e kraut di Bianchi, dall’altro si avvicina ad alcune cose di Ferraris con Sil Muir. Dal punto di vista sonoro si fa un uso preponderante del drone, accompagnato da campioni (presi da Ur, Luca Mauri e Luca Sigurtà) e field recordings, registrati al cimitero ebraico di Alessandria, dove è stata anche scattata la bella foto di copertina di Edoardo Pasero. Lungo ma non estenuante, il disco scorre bene e anche se non riuscirà a convertirvi o a indurvi alla lettura delle sacre scritture, sarà comunque un ascolto appagante.
DR. BLOWFIN’S ARCHIVE
Noises and shadows from the Jewish cemetery of Alessandria. Two producers in comparison with the divine and sin for a concept album on the biblical figure of Job, one of the most studied ever. Andrea Ferraris, better known as ICS, and Maurizio Bianchi, real connoisseur of sacred texts, take less than an hour to explore every moment of his mysterious history, from temptation to dark despair, until the attainment of ecstasy. For a seven tracks crescendo made of sound particles, reverberate strings, alien patterns and dusty secret codes. None comfortable; all provocative. Subliminal trip at the borders of the impossible uditive. Esperanto titles provide to power hallucinatory visions. Music for the third ear. Deep.