Whenever one thinks he got a reviewer figured out it is the duty of said reviewer to come up with something unexpected which he likes and which he can convince you of easily. So here is my unexpected review of a wonderful record: Macelleria Mobile di Mezzanotte (what a name!) and their latest full-length This Savaging Disaster!
Not a lot of you might have heard of my liking for well-done and variable Doomjazz or Jazz Noir. Apart from the usual suspects in this genre (Bohren & Der Club of Gore) one of my favorites is surely Macelleria Mobile di Mezzanotte from Italy. These guys have a wide range of musical projects (the last one was a collaboration with Sigillum S) and yet they always come back to their roots in Jazz – just listen to the awesome trumpet in ”Blue Dream” with its programmatic title!
The dark jazz or doom jazz influences are wonderfully integrated in a soundscape that can also produce TripHop (as in the title track) or something remindful of spaghetti western soundtracks but without all the Morricone references. With ”Conquistadores” the project has somewhat of a hit, that in all its trippin also purveys a great detailed image in one’s mind: It sounds like the on-stage-soundtrack to a scene of Westworld. We are sitting inside the brothel and a that moment there is not a single piano player somewhere in front of the dancing bands, but a full-fledged band in onstage with the girls and they are performing with the robot ladies only being some kind of electronic eye candy. The whole room and stage are maroon in color because of all the gilded wood and the dust settling at the feet of those around you. The girls are not dancing and jumping around excitedly but rather moving around lazily because of the heat coming from the outside through the broken windows. The singer of the band is standing dead center and doing his best Mike Patton meets Borges-impersonation and that is not even bad. Whenever he utters that single word “Conquistadores” the robot ladies seem jumpy and afraid that these merciless mercenaries could come back for more.
When the band combines their jazz ideas with free-thinking ambient and TripHop – then they are at their very best and that is the last track ”This Storm” - it seems as if we are walking down a long hallway and wherever we go, the light from the corridor is only lit right above us and nowhere else. The rest is darkness which makes us afraid of what is behind and what is ahead. The only solace comes from the cymbals which are always by our side and keep on telling us to continue. At the end we are confronted with near-breakbeat-like passages and electronic reverbs that lift the songs into a whole other dimension. Doomjazz for the future!
This record might not be my usual genre but it surely is a great one to listen to for everyone who likes bands like The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble or Tricky. Best enjoyed in the evening when you have nowhere to go and can adjust the light according to your needs. For brightness or for darkness. Your choice. This is mine.