23 Jul 2021 - Thorsten
Jazz Noir, | Subsound | Release date: 04 Jun 2021
Sigillum S & Macelleria Mezzanotte di Mobile – Blues Flowers….
Rome-based label Subsound Records is one of these little labels that convince its audience with a highly eclectic but always very fine taste when it comes to the artists and releases they host. The records range between Ambient and Jazz Noir as well as Death Metal and Grindcore. Enter: Sigillum S and Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte and their mix of Jazz Noir and (harsh) Electronics. Perplexing.
Whenever one hears of such combinations the mind is racing to too quick attitudes towards such a combined release. It can be really refreshing to have artists put their strengths together or it can be unimaginative and thus cacophonous or, worst case scenario, a step back in the development of the bands participating. Which is the final judgment for this collaboration?
Well, let’s see, what is the most important criteria for it? Probably, both sounds in some ways aligning their strengths which then results in something new. So uniqueness in sound and symbiosis are of important. Symbiotic – yes, that is the record. The electronic elements delivered by Sigillum S are there – opening and closing the record with some feedback and noise, both ends ringing forcefully in the ears of the listener. In the 30 minutes in between, we get a lot of the noise elements and sound manipulations from Sigillum S, the trio meandering in the underground post-industrial noise scene for more than 35 years now. In the first track (”Part 1”) this can be seen in the cheepy bits underneath the tracks and some of the more glitchy sound-manipulations. Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte on the other hand contribute some really interesting beats and synthesizer sounds. However, and that is quite astounding - it is never really 100% sure which of the electronic elements is delivered by whom of the seven (!) songwriters, with Pierluigi Ferro’s saxophone parts being the only obvious exemption. In ”Part 1”, for example, he delivers some very warm and lush sounds that are then being countered by the aforementioned noise-bits of Sigillum S.
One should remember that both bands are coming from the same scene, but that a few years ago, MMM turned to a more Doom Jazz-influenced sound which was most obvious on their 2019 album Noir Jazz Femdom. Thus, this collaboration was less surprising as it may be to some people, the same is true for the symbiotic effect of the strengths and forces of both bands, for example when the first track ends with a very nice manipulation of the jazzy clean beat into a pluckering, regurgitating roll of beats. Again – who brought in what?!
The other side of the equation was uniqueness: this is the bit where one has to be honest. This version of Jazzy Electronics is not unheard of, there have been other bands before who did this, be it in the TripHop-realms or the more Jazz-influenced side of things. The one thing that definitely is unique here is the perfection and attention to detail which all seven artists have shown immensely. The audience listening to this at home never knows which band did what and that of course leaves one with the ever-interesting guessing game.
Therefore, concluding one can attest there’s nothing new on the Italian frontline of Avantgarde music, just a bunch of highly skilled people perfecting a sound that is like a living, breathing thing, a heart beating so effectively and miraculously that the question of “how new is this?” never really matters. This is just a really good combination by seven musicians who each play their part in a record that took the author a bit by surprise.