Leo Anibaldi – 94-96 (Future Primitive, April 2016)

This is the perfect April listen after last month’s Mons Testaceum by Heinrich Dressel on Mannequin. Perhaps phonically dissimilar at first, these tracks share a taste for the epic and the sparse – a mythological illbient if you like – and they are products of a deep dark Rome-ness that still casts a long shadow over the capital’s scene. Let’s have some vintage Lory D next, shall we?. This generous dusting down of these mid-‘90s tracks also makes for a fascinating moment of hindsight over ‘our’ techno versus the previous generation’s – by which I mean, isn’t it interesting how we step twice in the same river. This cut of sophisticated Anibaldi now reveals itself as perfect for our time: a haunted techno, shiny at the top but anchored to the ground, and dripping with removed malaise.

Archival schlep aside, if there has been no Anibaldi in your life – and indeed even if there has – this is amongst the sweetest flowers of April. The 2016 “stretched edit” of “Aeon Fusion” (a true renaissance for the track) performs the classically Anibaldi gesture of delivering a pounding, thump in one ear and a melancholy high-pitched whistle in the other, vaporous yet earthy, something like a black train galloping through abandoned countryside. On side B “Evocation Part II” moves further into the blackened corners of Anibaldi’s work – clocks ticking, water dripping, crickets in the night measure time within what sounds like a stripped down synth version of Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” that never quite gets past the first groove. What a record for a label’s début: Future Primitive, we’re licking our lips.

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