Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Il Vuoto Germoglia - Hellzapop

Il Vuoto Germoglia

Minuta Records.

SCQ Rating: 76%

Hellzapop (aka Davide Cappelletti) has a video promo floating around the internet for his new EP Il Vuoto Germoglia, whereby a progression of still shots track the growth/destruction of a melon-shaped fruit. Personified by a smiley-face, the fruit’s gradual deformation starts with what could frivolously be viewed as a wing, a tail, a horn, but as it uproots itself and lurches toward the camera, viewers suddenly take stock of how drastically the benevolent fruit became a threatening ogre. Il Vuoto Germoglia works with a similar trajectory, establishing then beefing up fragile electronic melodies until you nearly forget how the song started out.

Prime example of such metamorphosis can be found in first cut ‘Cani Gemelli’, which opens in snow-blind keys before delving into a tighter structure of crunchy beats and prodding bass. By the four-minute mark, its individual parts have layered beneath a commanding buzz that chugs like a guitar and takes the song on a testosterone binge – far from its original solitude. What deems ‘Cani Gemelli’ such a powerful track is that Cappelletti never tries to repeat it, and the variety present on the following four tracks encompass subtler, more patient transformations. ‘E’ Solo Fame’ is the prettiest of the bunch, incorporating Hellzapop’s signature sound of serrated synths into a composition of cut-up piano and unobtrusive beats. Steering clear of the easy accessibility that organic instruments afford, Hellzapop creates full-blooded laptop songs that only utilize the occasional guitar or xylophone for momentum (as on the spritely ‘Seguo Lo Slancio’).

What gives Il Vuoto Germoglia an added edge over the countless bedroom-producers in the world is that Hellzapop imbeds these unassuming compositions with a healthy dose of drama, lifting ‘Il Tempo e Una Saponetta’ beyond its pedestrian breakbeats and giving each track its own unspoken narrative. Even the odd awkward melody that only electronic music can come up with, as on the title track, manages to branch outward into tense guitar finger-picking on account of Cappelletti’s dramatic streak. Impressive on both technical and emotional levels, Il Vuoto Germoglia should afford some much-deserved attention for Hellzapop.

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