Christmas Decorations

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Model 91 , 5/10
Communal Rust (2007), 6/10
Far Flung Hum (2008), 6.5/10

Rorschach's guitarist Nick Forte formed Beautiful Skin, a duo with Rossano Totino. They released the EP Revolve (Gold Standard Laboratories, 2000), a ten-minute synth-driven cosmic fresco.

Then Forte joined forces (excuse the pun) with Steve Silverstein (also active as Madam Estrella) and formed Christmas Decorations. Their debut album, Model 91 (Kranky, 2002), consists of brief instrumental vignettes that mostly sound like a continuation of Brian Eno's Before And After Science. They lack the melodic appeal of Eno's creations, but they, too, focus on the ambience (Cricket Broom, Opto-Isolator). The quiet, eerie, extra-terrestrial landscapes of Data 70 and Small Window provides some variety, but of little consequence. The psychedelic surf music of A Random Hill is a great idea, but spoiled by the vocals.

Communal Rust (Community Library, 2007) added glitchy electronica to their anti-pop vignettes for treated guitars. The proceedings were much more abstract and loose.

Continuing in that progress of abstraction, Far Flung Hum (Wodger, 2008) finally achieved the consistency of alienated soundpainting that the duo had been promising. The various sources had imploded in a slowly swirling kaleidoscope as if chopped by a junkie and then randomly reassembled by a blind person. What mattered was not the composition but the way the sources were "remixed".

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Antonio Buono)

Il chitarrista dei Rorschach Nick Forte forma i Beautiful Skin, un duo con Rossano Totino. L’Ep Revolve (Gold Standard Laboratories, 2000) contiene un cosmico affresco sospinto dai sintetizzatori.

In seguito Forte recluta Steve Silverstein (già attivo come Madam Estrella) e forma i Christmas Decorations. Il loro debut album, Model 91 (Kranky, 2002), consta di brevi vignette strumentali che suonano nell’insieme come un seguito al Before And After Science di Brian Eno. Rispetto alle creazioni di Eno, i brani sono privi dello stesso fascino melodico, ma puntano anch’essi sull’atmosfera. I paesaggi quieti, misteriosi, extraterrestri di Data 70 e Small Window procurano al disco un pò di varietà, ma la consistenza resta esigua. La surf music psichedelica A Random Hill è un grosso spunto, ma viene sciupato dalle parti vocali.

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