Title: Gate One
Release Date: 2014 July 15
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Sucu Music
Behind gate number one we have a release that defied my understanding of Sucu Music. I have come to expect most of the releases from Sucu Music to be in the ambient and experimental areas. However, this release does not fit that (mis)perception I had.
Behind Gate Number One
This is a release I would have mostly categorized as electronic pop music. But not your typical electronic pop — the use of electronics borrows heavily from more experimental and soundscape styles of music with a bent towards being slightly more dark / dense.
TNKS (aka Francesco Palermo) teamed up with Gaetano Fontanazza and Tony Colina in producing this recording. Together they have produced a recording that really is unique in terms of style.
Take ‘Theatrical’, a track that starts with a thumping bass line and mechanical drum machine with vocals that sound like something from a German rock band. And the lyrics are about a character that is experiencing a break with sanity. This definitely not the material of standard pop music, nor is the instrumentation with noises and atonal guitar stabs, and several other elements. But it works, not just works, it’s a gripping and engaging piece.
‘Nocturne’ opens with a synthesized bass line, and a drum track that literally fools me every time into thinking I am listening to a track from Professor Kliq. But then the layered guitars enter into the work and I know we aren’t listening to Kliq. Once things have percolated and built a bit, we have the introduction of an odd phone conversation into the piece. It really takes the piece to a new level of the unusual.
I could go on covering each piece on this release because all of them are exceptional. But I will mention just a couple more. ‘Sinapsi’ is a burbling rhythm and synth filled track with a late Berlin School feel and an almost glitch touch to it, while ‘Inside Winter’ is a very melodic, ambient jazz type of tune.
There’s few words to express how astounded I am by this release. First it shattered my expectations for Sucu Music’s output — in a good way. Then it kept surprising me from track to track with quirky smile-inducing tunes, and foot shuffling grooves. Scratching deeper, the number of elements and styles referenced is nothing short of a marvel.
Do I like this recording? I didn’t think I left any doubt, but: hells yes I like this recording. This is another example of what the music industry is missing today: the kind of musicality and experimentation that puts this release on the edge, but still is a very accessible electronic pop music work. I would give a bit round of applause to all the artists involved in bringing this release into the world: Francesco Palermo, Gaetano Fontanazza and Tony Colina.