[Bowindo Recordings, www.bowindorecordings.com]

A Year of the Aural Gauge Operation

[Hapna, www.hapna.com]

Italy seems to be a hot bed of new music activity over the last few years. First it was My Cat is an Alien. Then it was a turn for Stefano Pilia and Giuseppe Ielasi. Now, we get 3/4HadBeenEliminated - a full fledged quartet! In fact the quartet's life started a few years back as a trio. Stefano Pilia, Valerio Tricoli and Claudio Rocchetti utilize a variety of sound sources, including guitars, tapes, turntables, found objects, glass harmonica, bass, percussion and plenty of field recordings. Over the course of seven tracks, on their self-titled release, they fully integrate field recordings within a live band context. In fact, they make a strong case for including field recordings in just about any sort of music. Tons of tapes, synths, pipes, harmonium, guitars, bass and other object make it into the mix all to good effect. As a trio, they explore the glitched-out sound, the high-pitched revolving, and mutating spectrum of sound. The clicking and the tapping are often heard. The swishing, dry leaves sound is appropriated nicely, as is the radio static. By the end of the record, on the closing "Bedrock", the band decides to rock out. After all the humming and buzzing has disappeared, they pick up their instruments and play an elongated instrumental rock piece. Very organic in scope, 3/4HadBeenEliminated's debut was nothing more than foreshadowing of their second album as a quartet.
3/4HadBeenEliminated makes their debut as a quartet on their latest release "A Year of the Aural Gauge Operation". In fact, their first release as a quartet is a subtle grab of the rock tradition, while maintaining a strong, firm grip of the experimental idiom. Newest member of the group is drummer Tony Arrabito, who joins the regulars - guitarist / bassist Stefano Pilia, turntablist/sound processor Claudio Rocchetti and sound architect Valerio Tricoli. To say that the music is about a certain sort of a dire feeling would be an understatement. Atmosphere prevalent on the disc is one of morbid eeriness and dread. Field recordings - various cricket sounds, wind, and bells - make sure the listener is fully engulfed in what's going on. Getting back to the whole rock thing, the quartet really does know how to rock. Check out their easy-rhyming spiels on the gently thrilling "Monkey Talk" or better yet listen to the positive-humming feedback loops on "In Every Tree a Heartache". The most frightening piece on the record is the nearly 12 minute finally "As of Yore". In between the burst of laptop noise, turntable machinations and guitar feedback, we hear low-spoken voice, along with an accordion that brings the entire record to its close. Just about every track on the CD makes an attempt to integrate distinct ingredients from rock idiom, noise, field recordings and improvisation. To that effect, purely for their overwhelming effort, I'll give this album an eight out of ten.

- Tom Sekowski

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+ Tajemnicza emocja - wywiad z Kostasem Georgakopulos [Progrram]