Antoni Maiovvi: Electro Muscle Cult
Seed Records

Like some ‘80s synth-blazing soundtrack in search of a lost John Carpenter or low-budget zombie film, Antoni Maiovvi's Electro Muscle Cult burns up the tarmac with piledriving masses of squiggly synth arpeggios, disco bass lines, and steaming Italo-disco drum machine beats. Subtle ain't the first word that comes to mind when listening to Maiovvi's (intentionally) over-the-top delirium but there's nevertheless ample artistry on display throughout the hour-long collection (strictly limited to 100 hand-numbered copies worldwide). After roaring out of the gate with the heavily cranked plastic soul of “Tokyo Ultra Funk,” Electro Muscle Cult storms its way through one hook-filled Molotov cocktail after another.

In the album's nine tracks, multi-tiered arrangements overflow with chiming roller-rink melodies and racing 4/4 beats, with “Presidente Della Notte,” a blinding, neon-lit wonderland of iridescent melody-making, maybe the pick of the litter. Oozing prime time portent, Maiovvi's cops'n'robbers pitch “Episode One: Pilot” conceivably could have found its way into Miami Vice had Jan Hammer missed the call while Kraftwerk's “Tour de France” beat structure works its way into “Cop With A Badge” though quickly vanishes within the tune's massive undertow. After seven relentlessly uptempo tracks, the penultimate “Risurrezione del Marco (Sequenza 6 & 7)” comes as a welcome respite from the breakneck pace, though even it too picks up steam following a becalmed two-minute intro. The move proves hardly objectionable, however, when the track swells thereafter into a glorious, mid-tempo epic. The bonus track, an “UltraNRG Hypermix” of Fabio Frizzi and Giorgio Casico's “Zombie 2 - Main Theme,” even adds a bit of Latin flavour to its Italo jubilation. One suspects that if Maiovvi had his way, we'd time-travel to the dawn of the electro-synth era and never leave it.

January 2009