Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kind of Cthulhu: Wadjĭwĭng' (Azteco, 1987)

"Obscure"'s the best term to describe this record. It's obscure in a musical sense, for its sound and atmospheres, and in a documentary sense: to be short, almost no information about it can be found on the web.
Let's focus on music first. Wadjĭwĭng' is a quite surprising "progressive" blossom of mid-Eighthies industrial music experimentation. While the mood and approach decidedly reflect the taste for decadence, vagueness and approximation which is a defining trait of some industrial music circles, the musical form and the sound of the tracks are much closer to early-Seventies "dark" psychedelia (long instrumental tracks and digressions, organ, choirs...) and, most amazingly, to full-fledged progressive music. There are sombre, percussive sections reminding of Magma and eerie keyboard ostinatos not far from Goblin stuff. Then chamber-music sketches (Julverne? Maybe even Aksak Maboul), exoteric folk allures (Comus!), airy flute passages and soft openings which even seem to hint at the dreamiest episodes of Italian progressive (Pierrot Lunaire?).
Many comparisons can be traced, but none seems to grasp the essence and singularity of this album, basically a fish out of water, a progressive album made with strictly post-punk sounds, recording techniques, instrumental skills, and mentality. In some sense, is an utterly imprecise work; on the other hand, though, this clumsiness's necessary for its uniqueness and charm.

The few data that are known about the album help to guess its context, but don't enframe it exactly. Kind of Cthulhu was a project based in Parma and signed to the short-lived label Azteco Records, active between 1983 and 1988 and linked to the band T.A.C. (Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata) and its related post-industrial community. Two records were published under the evidently Lovecrafian moniker Kind of Cthulhu: an ep in 1986, and this lp. All of the two featured contributions by T.A.C. founder Simon Balestrazzi (later of Kirlian Camera) and credit a steady core of musicians, which were most probably the members of the band: Andrea Ascenso, Antonio ("Franz"?) Menozzi, Marco Cattabiani, Mario Mascitelli.

  1. Liutelio
  2. Overload
  3. What's This Kind of Cthulhu?
  4. A Believer
  5. Red Wine
  6. Wadjĭwĭng'
  7. Next Spring
  8. Thrust of Love
  9. Misk Cjezscjesz
  • Marco Cattabiani: bass, keyboards, harmonica, vocals, effects 
  • Patrizia Mattioli: clarinet
  • Andrea Azzali: double bass
  • Mario Mascitelli: drums, percussion, bass, vocals, indian flute
  • Franz Menozzi: guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, vocals
  • Andrea Ascenso: lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, drums
  • Massimo Colonna: saxophone
  • Paola Sartori: violin
  • Patrizia Mattioli, Simon Balestrazzi: vocals
  • Ivano Bizzi: Engineer
Any additional information about the band and the record is welcome, of course!

Download  (320 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata: omonimo (Azteco, 1983)
Goblin: The Goblin Collection, 1975-1989 (DRG, 1995)