ENDE #7, 04-06/1998

The triumph of made in Italy

Angelo Bergamini is a particular character, bashful and introverted: with this interview I tried to open a dialogue with him, to make him speak, and I succeeded... I'm proud to present a "grandfather" of the Italian electronic music...

The first thing I'm thinking is the concert you had this year in Ancora: to play in front of not more than 100 persons have to be a strange thing for you, used to a huge crowd you find in Germany...
- It wasn't a so strange experience, because in more than 20 years of concerts I faced even bigger lack of audience. Outside Italy too, sometimes we play in small clubs, or some other time with little probable organizational situations, that engrave on the real flow of people during the gig. In Ancora we feel quite good, we apprecied the efforts of a careful and reliable organization. The earthquake, in the maximum intensity phase during those days, didn't help the event of course, together with other negligible but real problems.

From another side, Germany seems to be the "Country of the Toys" for every musical genres: audience, labels, bands, festivals... But are the things really so shining as we imagine them?
- It's a more confortable area for who wants to release absolutely a sort of record, but the market is in great saturation, due to the presence of too many records continuosly produced. The good quality is almost nonexistent. The bands are unable to play concerts and the audience is tired of equal records and sets. The moment is difficult, for the label that are unable to put out the new and a bit original bands. The "clones" are detroying everything, reducing the music to a secondary role comparing to an aestetic interest and external that I find quite ridiculous, by the way. I will quietly continue to work in Germany and countries of the same area, because I find stimulating other situations. I'm talking about music and life, not about four pufies dressed by vampires and act conceiting for no reason...

How was your last tour?
- It was a very hard tour, full of organizative problems that were exhausting us. A massacre, I mean. The only nice things was the people coming to see us, a good relationship continues with it. It was the first time we presented two singers. Emilia, in fact, after the first concerts returned in Italy, leaving the place to Barbara, the new vocalist. At the end, I can say to be almost amused, but again, several disturb elements would have been deleted. I'm more than sure, due to the recent agreements with the organizers.

Could you differentiate the satisfaction index toward Kirlian in Italy, Europe and United States?
- Well, Europe is the number one, also because it's the area we refered with more intensity and involvement. I'm talking about North Europe. Italy seems to accept us a bit more but there aren't particularly optimistic signals. Of course, there is motived people who tries to help us, that sometimes call us for a concert but, all in all, it would be impossible to survive. We will be distribuited in USA more carefully but, sincerly, I don't care so much, because personally I don't esteem Americans at all and I prefer to keep them away, this thing seems to be mutual, due to their restlessness against who is not ashamed to be European. I think they consider us a quite dangerous band and they have no need to import entity of such kind even if, it seems, they are changing idea. Problems of their. I don't support who gives you a political identity without hearing you and talking to you. I never liked the "mind police".

You always were a particular band, always different without any labelling in a precise musical genre, belonging of course to the new wave. Was it by precise choice or by case?
- I always followed the impulse to compose and release what I thought, trying to "letting me live". I never try to belong to a specific area, even if more than once the band has been adopted, temporarly, by some "areas". This is not snobbing, because I hate the snobs and those who have "the smell under the nose", also because they usually are the usual riches that want to be original: I never had their so-called "problems", coming unfortunatly from humble zones. This band started under the new wave and, as I already worked in the '70s with the electronic, this was a natural step, to do. Now I really don't know in which kind of area we could be place, apart easy irony. Sometimes it's troubleful.

Living both of the decades who made the history of the wave, could you track the border lines or conjunction between the '80s and the '90s?
- What we consider new wave could be easily divided in other sub-groups and genres or styles. After the big impact at the end of '70s-beginning of '80s, people however tried to develop the various themes, maybe sometimes deepening, always in the '80s, an useful mastery of the expressive mean, in some cases. In Europe, after the crisis and the indifference happened at the end of the previous decade, there was the remaking of the eventual past tops, especially in Germany, Belgium and similar. This means that rarely the people cared about a need of develop and effective research. Especially in "dark" area they made easy external effects. The "electronic area", industrial and dark dont want to compare with other musical realities, even looking for success and glory. This is wrong: in this way they cannot compete, they cannot build a powerful scene. Just a scene of unluckies that can strut with the friends. Maybe too much people chats of extreme life without knowning the meaning. If a "scene" must be "antagonist", the ignorance and the haughtiness are problems that destroy. There was some renewal signals from England and Germany, but, those signals were considered external to the scene, that instead, in some way, generated them. I'm talking about Aphex Twin, Plastikman, Mouse On Mars, Scala, Underworld and many others, considered not belonging to a sort of delirious brotherhood that always more flows in the musical traditionalism that itself (falsely) fought. In the early '90s there was the raising of the so-called "Heavenly Voices". Even if hearing out of tune hens is not the top, it would have been nice if someone had tried to create some interesting development from compositive side or technical choices side, instead to repropose the 4AD music in a bad way. Then I prefer to listen to Enya. No, she is not "in"! But at least she can sing! In the industrial area, that sometimes gave us some satisfaction and more opening, they seem to have discovered "the machine for the universal sound": everybody with the same effects and sounds... And go to theorize and show faultless cutulres about the various theoreticals of the music and the art. This scene is frozen, if we want to be optimistics and we don't want to see just dead... As everything, however, for what concerns me.

The Italian scene, from your side, even if little, is it united or you notice bad solidarity between bands and audience and bands themselves?
- I'm sorry to be again so negative... I will try to find something positive... Some bands are effectively trying some union between them, avoiding annoying polemics and passing also useful information. Of course, also here there are the "Sunday stars". The audience is a bit colder than elsewhere, even if not always. From the other side this same audience, or part of it, sometimes accepts to form sects that love or hate various names depending by an affiliation logic. The solidariety you quote is owned only by who has a real consciousness and tries to identify himself in who is in trouble not forgetting of own past full of sometimes useless work. However, I notice lots of free wickedness, envies. What a pity...

How is your relationship with the fanzines? And with the "official" magazines?
- We are always available with everyone, we never undervalue the importance of the small entities. We don't do polemics. We are in our place. We talk when they ask. Sometimes it's hard, especially for me that I am a bit... nervous. But I learnt.

Are there foreign specialized magazines worthy to be mentioned? Recently everyone talks about ORKUS, in Germany, that seems to have overpassed all the others with a pressing of 30,000 copies. Do you know it?
- Orkus is very known, growning quickly and arriving more or less to the tops of Zillo!, German magazine of indipendent music, recently opened to other genres. Yes, the story of the 30,000 copies sold monthly is confirmed. They are so many, for a magazine interested exclusively to gothic, electro and industrial. Also New Life seems to do interesting proposals, maybe mainly directed to the electronic field in general.

Till today I had no chance to listen to your new album (even if it's told it's different from the previous ones and a bit more electronic). Could you try to describe it?
- It's very electronic, yes. We are an electronic band since always, but sometimes we like to discuss with other sounds, pushing till the total acustic. But, KC has a totally electronic identity. Simply, we are not forced to photocopy ourselves continuosly. "The Desert Inside" is a maxi-single, even lasting 40 minutes and presenting all new material. It's the work I mainly feel to appreciate, among all those already released. It's the first time that I realize something that recalls me nobody else, where I don't feel precise influences. There are thousands of influences, of course, but no one easily recognizable, for me. It's all rather chill, electronic (apart the presence of the bass), it goes in several directions but results to me more amalgamated than ever. It's the record where the two new elements debut, Barbara Boffelli and Ivano Bizzi. To work with them has been really nice. It was a terrible record to realize, because too much emotionally involving, for what concerns me. But now, listening to it... makes me happy. I felt particularly free. I had no wish to gratify anybody.

Is there a particular period of your musicist carrier you remember?
- I would say the period when I recorded this last record, but it would be obvious. I like to rememeber when I was recording "Todesengel" and I met Emilia. It was a difficult moment, I remained alone, it was too much heavy for the "light" area I was coming from, and the indipendent labels gave no trust, they consider us a pop band. Together, working, we made Kirlian resurrects, till to have never felt satisfactions. A hard period, we succeeded to make us believable again. At least I hope.

And a Kirlian Camera track belonging to you particularly?
- Beh, now I must be banal. It's "The Desert Inside" from the last work, the track I love. Also the lyrics, this time, are important for me. It's the track where I feel more myself. In the past, maybe it was "Helden Platz". Just before I said that I "also" feel important the lyrics , not because I didn't try to give the best, previously, but sometimes, after some time, I notice that some lyrics written in a not perfect way, not as I would have prefered. This thing doesn't exist in the last cd.

In the double cd "Music for a Slaughtering Tribe II" of :WUMPSCUT; there is your remix. How was this collaboration born? Do you know the mysterious Rudy Ratzinger?
- Yes, I met Rudy at a KC concert and I found him nice. I like various things he did and when he asked us to remix something, we accepted without any problem. Often we do remixes for others, especially recently, but sometimes there is not an ideal match; sometimes it results just a work. For Rudy it was different.

What meaning does playing with the face masked by bataclava have?
- On one hand I don't want eventually conditionate the people with my face. I prefer to present my music and eventually the pictures without this kind of "ostentation". Then, sometimes I don't like my face, so I don't show it. In the end of several concerts I show it, just to make understand that I'm not silent for lack of respect or what else.

Do you feel involved in the esoteric scene? Could you explain me why the esoteric current is "always" associated to right-wing politics?
- I don't think to be particularly involved in esoteric matters. I don't belong to the group of the "cultured", fortunatly. What I eventually know about some topics, I keep on my own. Everyone has the right to do so. For me it's different. In any case, I'm principally interested to the figure of Christ, so I'm not expert, if you want, for a scene about comics devils, even if I find many things funny and I'm not against who finds interesting the "black" side. The story of the right and its relationship with some esoteric areas is quite old, but I wouldn't like it becomes a dangerous common place. In this period we are harassed by some "democratic" organizations that call them left-wing oriented and do activities also against us, notwithstanding many times the other members openly declared their "left-wing" orientation. My reticence to take a position is causing some problem, but I don't want to change this decision. Politic and esoterism are reserved matters for me.

Which bands of course along with Kirlian Camera would you suggest to deepen to our readers?
- There are several, but I believe that some of them are already followed. I prefer to talk little about the friends, even if I suggest to keep an eye on the future releases of Limbo, Andromeda Complex, Leutha, Jormungand, Sonar (Dive), Kebabträume. I talk about future works, because I already listened to some ideas in working of these bands and they seemed to me very good. Who prefers the industrial and he's tired of the same thrash I would suggest to try the early records of the Faust. In any case, I repeat, the list would be longest.

  • Massimiliano Medagli

  • English translation: Adalberto Orrigo - 16.12.2004