The second album by experimental group Nuova Consonanza (after their self-titled 1966 debut on RCA) features a typically weird sonic journey that’s still pretty coherent in spite of the gnashing, shrill, grinding sounds typical of their late sixties work.
The intro “Lip Service” is a brief collage of mouth and cheek hits, groaning, and puckering effects, but things really get going in “RKBA-1975, Take One,” which is ostensibly a grungy, metallic crescendo of scraping piano wires. The group (of which Ennio Morricone was an important member) starts the cue with shrill sounds, and the addition of low tones create disturbing sonic textures quite similar to contemporary, digitally processed effects.
“Perfect Union (Trio Per)” consist of pensive medium-range tones that are almost animalistic, assembling and conversing in a steady dialogue with muted trumpet grunts and whining string scrapes. The latter two eventually engage in their own dialogue, and the trumpet becomes more mocking, while some of the orbiting sounds resemble buzzing insects and low-level farts (yes, really).
More dramatic material lies in “Side One-Band Four (Quartetto),” one of the album’s longer cues, but the mood is rather subdued, given the cue consists of sparse tonal hits on piano, sax, trombone, and vibes. The lengthy “Strings Quartet” features initially sparse sounds, although the basic construction is a thickening call & answer session between grinding strings and squeals (effects Morricone later repeated in his giallo scores).
Side 2 begins with “Sunrise (Improvvisazione per Otto)” which seems to assemble all of the prior sonic elements into an extended conversation, with concrete metallic effects almost reaching a synthetic state prior to a sudden synth rumble at the end. The brief “Conversations (Trio di fiati)” features another round of squeals and murmuring metal sounds, whereas the last cue, “Waves (Improvvisationes per cinque)” recaps the more sparse sounds heard throughout the album in a loosely structured piece that doesn’t offer anything particularly intriguing.
Only half of the tracks are unique, whereas the rest tend to repeat sounds in so-called improvised sessions that meander, making the LP a less intriguing work compared to recent CD collections. The original RCA LP still deserves a proper CD release, however, preferably with any unreleased cues to expand the LP’s fairly brief length. Nuova Consonanza’s other RCA recording is the much-lauded (and sought-after) The Feed-back (1970).
Wholly unreleased material is also available in the 2006 3-disc setAzioni [M], and the 2011 mini-gem Eroina [M].
© 2012 Mark R. Hasan