Only in the Strut Store: 180g Vinyl!
“Are you nervous as you like to be?” Die Form, ‘Are You Before’
In Italy, they are known as the Anni di Piombo, the ‘Years Of Lead’, a period of unprecedented political turmoil between the late ‘60s and early ‘80s across the country. Sparked following an attempt to merge the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) into the ruling Tambroni government and a subsequent coalition between the Christian Democrats (DC) and the Socialist Party, nearly 2000 murders were attributed to political violence during this dark period in the form of bombings, assassinations and street warfare between rival militant factions, including the high profile murder of DC leader Aldo Moro in 1978.
Kompakt artist Alessio Natalizia from Walls brings together ‘Mutazione’, a collection of reactionary underground electronic and new wave rarities from Italy, recorded during the tail end of this turbulent era. Based around a hotbed of activism in Tuscany and the Emilia Romagna region, bands emerged from squats and both right and left wing militant groups, feeding off the national paranoia and angst to create a unique sound, rooted in punk but touching on new wave, electronic, experimental and industrial styles. Much of the music was released on limited cassettes. Fanzines sprang up, both from political groups and the bands themselves, in turn spawning new artists – Suicide Dada, featured on this album, emerged from a collective running the VM fanzine in Milan and the TRAX collective of underground musicians also published a regular lo-fi magazine of their own.
For ‘Mutazione’, Natalizia digs deep to explore the full spectrum of sounds from this rich era of Italian music. Styles range from brooding new wave and post-punk to raw electronic pieces and claustrophobic, whispered vocal cuts. There are stories aplenty behind many of the tracks: Laxative Souls’ chilling ‘Niccolai’ samples a telephone call made by infamous terrorist group Brigate Rosse to Aldo Moro’s colleague, explaining where he could find the politician’s body. Kirlian Camera’s ‘Edges’ is an early single from one of the few underground Italian new wave to land a major label deal and Doris Norton’s ‘Norton Apple Software’ is culled from an all-electronic instrumental album sponsored by Apple during their early days in 1984.
This exclusive release comes with extensive sleeve notes by two of Italy’s leading cultural journalists, Andrea Pomini and Alberto Campo, both now of Rumore magazine. The package also features a wealth of original photos alongside artwork from fanzines, cassettes and LP covers.