Skinshout & Xabier Riondo, Altai, ImprovvisatoreInvolontario, 2010

Do you remember “concepts albums”? Do they still exist? Records created with an history at thei bases, a long run which to make music moving and flowing, searching for something that is not pure and simple musical talent and grey cerebral subject? It seems I can give an affermative answer listening to the ten tracks of this Altai, last recording by duo Skinshout (Gaia Mattiuzzi – vocals, Francesco Cusa – percussion & electronics) supported by a diabolical Zavier Iriondo playing his selfmade sulfur taisho koto and mahai metak instruments. In the booklet written by Wu Ming (perhaps relative of that Milos Temesvar that we find in the introduction of the book “Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco) we read the agitated plot of an historical novel set in Venice, Constantinople, Cyprus and other different places in the XVI century. For an adopted Venetian as I’m, it is a great pleasure to listen and to “read” a piece like “Fuga da Venezia”, a prolonged drone that describes the sonorous tension of a man that escapes, in the anguish to be captured, among the dark fogs of the small streets of Venice, pursued by the voice of Gaia Mattiuzzi seems to sing in a Meredith Monk’s way the apparent success of an escape, marked by the pressing footsteps of Francesco Cusa’s battery.
An immersive record where we move among the roads of Constantinople, in the middle of people of all the races, with Iriondo and Cusa playing blasts and winds, dirty white noise on the background of murders and battles, making you feel the sweat of the men, animals and machines (“La battaglia di Lepanto”).
A brief record, twenty-two minutes long for a complete experience, but at the end are we really sure that all these accadimentis happened? And then where Corto Maltese and Rasputin were?

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