Ciao 2001, 07/1988


Pop eclipse

The new album of the band headed by Angelo Bergamini has intelligently lost the commercial influences that characterized their most recent mix: "Ocean". This record is the brave "Eclipse" that the band talk widely to us about.

A couple of years ago we already talked about them for the release of "Ocean", an interesting single/mix in vinyl published by Virgin. An intriguing matching of dark sonority, electronic rhythms with a fascinating female voice. But Angelo Bergamini, that we could define the charismatic head (putting out nothing to the current Kirlian Camera members) of the band expressed his own perplexity about the production of the song (then given to Oderso Rubini) that pushed it a bit far away the original intentions.
"And I must say that Angelo was right - Walter Mameli of Rose Rosse, a Bolognese label full of italian hopes, confides us - I listened the original version of "Ocean" and was extraordinarly beautiful, more than the track later released". It's a sunny summer afternoon: Rome is preparing to first holidays. When we meet the full band we must notice a little, apparent, contrast: Bergamini is in his usual dark look, sided by the new singer Bianca Hoffman, and by Graziano "Charly" Mallozzi in black too. The only one to dress jeans and square shirt is Mauro Montacchini, one of the first former of the band together with Angelo, returned only now after years of absence also to fill the role left by Mallozzi, electronic drummer, that prefered change his role with international producer: apart co-production of last album of Kirlian, "Eclipse", he managed recently "N.O.I.A." together with Jay Burnett.

- I listened carefully to "Eclipse": I noticed some distance from the surely most enjoyable atmospheres of "Ocean" that sincerly I liked very much. This LP seems to me more difficult from commercial side. Why did you make a choice, we can say, brave?
Bergamini - This partial direction change was due partially to the change of production, principally mine, helped by Charly and John Freyer, already known for their work with This Mortal Coil and Depeche Mode. We used a lot of technology, but the use of machines in theirselves, like the sequencers, is very limited. And then, for the first time, we wrote an album that reflect at 100 per cent our mood, both in lyrics than in music. Also the two covers, from "Epitaph" of King Crimson to "A Nothing Life" of Death In June (included as extra track only on tape) show very much the death argument more than we did in past.

The constrast raises for a moment: Angelo, with his stately air, almost mediumistic, begins to talk about the death... outside the sun shines and the city becomes crazy in one of the many commercial street of Rome, totally unaware that before or after will must undergo the face on face with the extreme goodbye. Anyway there is not sadness in all this, maybe only a gloomy atmosphere... Who talks about the death is not very appreciated, maybe because he remembers us an avoidable step that anybody would like to postpone more possible.

- Reviewing your LP I supposed the darkness that your music emanates is nothing but the dark just before the dawn light explosion. As per the title of the album, an eclipse, so a temporary phenomenon.
- Exact, we like very much this. Otherwise we would have chosen another title. The eclipse can go away too... Really the eclipse has becoming a daily routine... Angelo becomes rather pessimistic, or maybe realistic, points of view question. "It's the sense of tragedy, not of paranoia, maybe sometimes a bit elated...".

- Well, in fact your keyboards sometimes are a bit "de profundis"...
- It's just in this way, a sweeter death invocation, when you are lost, i.e. in a summer evening, under very nice plants, and you feel near you some shadows, and you feel you are dying... I'm not depressed, or maybe I am a bit, but you feel that there is something so sweet and angelic, a so big love... Death like return of Great Light, back to Father...

Angelo always amazes. He is able to talk about extreme sensations keeping an almost ataraxic attitude, without get agitated. Sometimes a bit of tireness transpares. Really the Kirlian Camera project was not born yesterday.
- At the beginning I played in a heavy metal and progressive band, to make me know, then I supported some bands at the concerts, till the record of 1981 arrived, as Kirlian Camera. In '83 there was a little pause with Hypnosis, with them we sold about 1,200,000 copies and, being inexperienced concerning musical contracts, we took totally about 465000 liras! An authorized theft. Then there was "Ocean" that made talk a little more about us. But already before the mix "Blue room" was out (really interesting and nice).

Kirlian Camera is the name of an electronic device that allows to photograph the electromagnetic halo around objects and living beings. The most extreme spiritualists prefered talk about soul, but when somebody noticed that this aura was also around the 100 liras coin the scientific world refused the interpretation. Really, and this demonstrates how much factiousness there is handling such topics, they were only energetic emanations: if someone wants to call them with different names... but all in all they exist. And the band itself seems to be surrounded by this aura. It has its own charm, because in an epoch of standardizement in the name of dominant taste it proceeds its path bravely, without hesitation.
"Surely sometimes the situation is descouraging - Mameli still confides us - it's incredible to notice how today, differently from '70s, when a band like Kirlian would have had many fans, the band is ignored after the listening of first two ruts because it is not of tendency: I mean it doesn't dance, it's not a sound aligned with commercial sounds. This is absurde concerning artistic, critic, custom point of view".

We cannot say he is wrong: also Battiato, in a recent interview, said that we proceed for extremes, in musical fashion environment, without a logic or educative path. From unlimited engagement and darkest seriousness we finished in 24 hours no stop in disco and with the policy of redeeming...

- And you Bianca, how did you replace Simona Buja, the previous singer?
- I heard they were looking for a singer, but I was qualified in flute at Conservatory. I studied classic, and I love the pre-colombian culture that I unite to the interest for Buddhism. In my past there are also Pink Floyd and heavy metal bands. I'm less tired than Angelo, I cannot live with depressed mood the singing of the death. Rather than I'm an enthusiastic. Our idea of death is very romantic, a embellishment of the death. The death is only a passage, the return to a fusion, not a definitive step...

  • Alessandro Staiti

  • English translation: Adalberto Orrigo