Kronic web-zine, 02/2005

Far away so close

A mature work. Maybe this is the best definition to define the second album of Siderartica. More courage, more means and the wish to tell through a black fable how much the land of God would be closed if only the man lifted the eyes and stare far away, over the misery and the ugliness that he contribuited to create. It's like to see the Moon, it's not true that it is distant. We can reach it but we had to want. Made with a fantastic course similar to a travel "Shapes And Colours..." has the great pro to fully represent what Siderartica is today, a band with a defined path that flows into an avantgarde electronic but it's aware also to exploit the lesson from the past. The secret behind this fantastic world that seems so much unreachable is hidden just in this mystery: to believe in it and try to reach it, because who feels defeated will never know which are the colours of a better world.

The first thing we noticed listening to the album it's the plain evolution of your style. Above all, it's useless to deny it, the change of register of your voice. Now it's often full of effects and especially it renounces to the higher tones while in "Night Parade" these ones were more frequent. Which is the reason of this change? Is it also linked to the kind of album you were writing?
I believe that the last who notice these things are just the musicians! But, surely, every composing moment is never equal to another one and it's based on different intuitions. For every particular idea is correct to use specific sounds either instrumental that vocal. So, every time, the composition is influenced by new moods, new experiences, new mental perceptions. Remaining linked to an unique musical genre at all the costs, that plan the work in a fixed way,methodic, makes arid the creativity. It's right that the music turns into ourselves, being in continuous evolution. So, I believe that especially the voice has to follow this path, sometimes freeing aggressiveness, sometimes melody, and the tonal use has a very important role in these terms. Our last album is surrounded by effects, that covers either the voice that some instrumental sounds and the sporadic use of the megaphone underlines the presence of a kind of narrator that tells, with sometimes nostalgic voice, the mysteries and the dramas of a past "fantastic" world, but that could be found again.

Also the musical style has changed, we can say that it matured into an evolution that often put in background the "easier" solutions of "Night Parade" to favor a more researched soung, often close to avantgarde choices and characterized by a bigger listening difficulty. It can be judged like an album that needs many listenings and much attention to be internally apprecied and really understood?
Maybe "Night Parade" is an easier album just because it was the first. There are many ingenuities and a Roland MC 505 in it. And then, the only idea to release an album made us dream, so probably there was bigger self-indulgence from our side! Now we have more instruments, that we try to use, we are more careful about the use of the sounds and maybe we are more aware to look for them, but I like to think that some ingeunities will still accompany us in time, because the "methods" frighten me. However, both of the records have something to say and I believe that this is the most important thing, all in all. I always liked the idea of an album where you discover something new every time you listen to it. It would be nice if it was "Shapes and Colours..."!

Could this evolution be linked also to the fact that "Shapes And Colours..." is a very strong concept that needs a sequence in the tracks and some style to express at the best?
Maybe in "Shapes And Colours..." we succeeded to better arrange the topics. I mean that, if in "Night Parade" there is a constant clue that take to a relationship between the night and the war, such concept is not so explicitly explained, but it's just glimpsed and it has surely a bigger interpretative freedom. Instead in this last album there is a clear reference guided by music and pictures together, that brings to the light the theme of an existance condemned by itself, the one of the humanity, described with fable terms.

Do you like to speak us about this concept and how it was born?
It's difficult to think how it was born. I can say that I feel very much the existance of a parallel life to the diurnal one. The oneiric world insinuates with overbearance to the real one, giving illusions, poems, additional pains and also a new way to feel the life. I listen very much this dimension and it's useless to deny that the rests of it are part of my creative imagination. But, you know, sometimes the dreams or some visions are nothing but metaphoric allusions to a true reality. So, in this "morphic" state, between a slept and another one, I notice how much the fable of the land of God and the human poverty of spirit are strictly relationable. Just like two opposites that attract themselves...

I believe that your new work has an enviable compactness, that goes over the music to link to the lyrics and the pictures. I was very impressed by the cover of "Swan" by Peter Bengsten. Initially, as you know, I saw it like the attempt of an evolution from a simple man to something different and more perfect, such as a super-man. Then metabolizing the album I began to believe that "Swan" represents more the human condition, weak and miserable, comparing to what is the land of God, and then comparing to something closer to the perfection, from here the chromatic and metaphoric contrasts. What does this cover represent for you?
The cover has been the cherry on the cake for us! When Peter Bengsten saw our concert in Copenhagen, thought to offer us some of his photos for an eventual work. In that moment I already had the ideas quite clear about the concept of the album and "Swan" exactly represented what I looked for. The enchanted suspension of the shot exalts the beauty of the swan and concentrates in it. The man tries to graze it, to reach it, but the soft veil that separates them seems to build an insurmountable barrier; it's like there was no more rationality in his mind, but only the strong desire to reach what it's impossible to have for him, as it's so nice, notwithstanding the objective closeness. This strong moment of sublimation pervades the cover as well as the entire record. Here is the simile: the land of God, in the same way of the swan, it's there, in front of us, still, available, but our eyes familiarized very soon with the misery and see that place distant, untouchable, unreachable. Does the attitude to the evil deny to the reason to live and dominate a fantastic lang? Does the weakness of the senses force us to feel the weight of a veil, preventing us to lift it? But maybe it's more confortable to avoid to think that in a Parrishing landscape we should reduce our bad feelings, toward which we are accustomed since long time.

Remaining about this topic: the concept of difference between the world of the man and another world is the base of this work. Is this world of God a mental reality reachable by the man with the evolution or something too much distant for the human limits?
Among the pain, the distrust, the bad memories, the discouragement, the "devils" and the funny sad character that appear inside the album, the concept of a great strength of will cohabits, a bit hidden but fierce. The key is just to understand that there is nothing too much distant, that the beauty is often fatiguing to manage, but it never excluded us from his visual field. Maybe we are unable to listen to it, not even when it calls us, because often we don't want to learn its oldest language. Just think about the different between erotism and pornography: million light years separate these two concepts, but lots of people didn't notice. And also who is aware of the difference, often, in the reality, gives no space to erotism, but to pornography, because normally we deny ourselves the time to learn the sensuality, because we are satisfied of a true fuck, because it's told that the sex is a physiological need, just like the hunger... But, speaking again about God, this land of dreams is with us even when someone thrashes papers in the ground or steal some money, even when a madman rapes a child, when there promises that won't be kept, even when the people buys horrible square shirt and brown shoes of false skin... This land made of enchantment is there, it doesn't judge, not claim, just wait to be discovered.

I ask for this because "L'Ora Dorata" owns a singing very similar to a fable, distorted in the sound, but it opens the story as there was a metaphoric path/story in all the work. What is for you this land of God? And how does it manifest if it manifests?
The opening of the record is strange and apparently unlinked, but it's needed to introduce those tunes of enchantment and magic, of sarcastic metaphysics and darkness that will remain for all the length of the album. It's a fable full of shadows, where the people of the happy village see undoing piece by piece their dream of happiness, till the total destruction of their splendid reign. Then it will remain only a distant remembrance and the discouragement to be unable to find again the paradisiacal beauty of their ancient places. The little protagonists of the story will cohabit with the human beings and little by little they will forget their old uses. Well, the land of God for me has the semblances of an enormous hope, it's a strong creed in a glorious existance, but you must be able to find it, understand and love. It exists only if we try to seek it seriously. Without the real desire to believe that the enchantment can have real values, not even its shadow can be seen.

Concerning this it seems to be that the concept of divine is frequent in your works, in fact it was present also in "Night Parade". How is it evolved and how much is it changed in these years your way to relate to the "religion" and to the concept of something perfect?
I think that my life is made of religiousness, but in a wide sense, excluding however the various religions that rotate around this concept. I like the saints and Dylan God, ehm, Dog... and I like to think about the life just like a ritual that makes important all of our days. Every morning shines of new light and I have the certainty to be able to decide how my life will be little by little, because my religiousness gives me power. But together to it, there are also suffering and much rage. To make mythical the daylife, you can notice everywhere things that are wrong, that must be fixed. Then, as I'm not a breakball for nature, I'm organizing, training myself into survival courses of the stupidity and in studies about how to distribuite the hostility in an equal and in sympathy way...! But, if I think about God my bigger contradictions take over. My thoughts, in this direction, are never equal to themselves: I believe to love him deeply, but often I accuse him for what he made to use and his son. Then I think he is a god very sad and alone, embittered for his impotence and to have not understood in time how much the evil is strong, to have been to much confidend and ingenuous regarding the human beings. But really I'm not able to reach too much to him, I look for perfection...

By the way this concept of a better world or at least different for ours is retaken also in the last work of Kirlian Camera. It was about a front there, about a distant land here. In both of the works there is like an urgency of escape and difficulty/impossibility to overpass the wall that divides two so different "realities", one miserable and the other unreachable.
The urgency to run away from the evil, however looking for a solution, but without escaping from the reality... this is, maybe, a theme that is in common. The life is full of evil, in fact, or we are unable to contain it and the heart risks to explode, or there is the monstrous possibility to accustom ourselves to what is bad, with the result to not "feel" it anymore. We launched an alarm. Then the directions followed by Kirlian Camera and Siderartica plainly separate: with "Invisible Front" there is a desperate research of an alternative world to ours. And the result of the work is a language that take to the not humanity, as safe point. You can glimpse a point of light in a very particular zone of the sky, very very distant from here, where the terrestrial dimensional system doesn't exist and everything turns into not-matter. God himself doesn't know this new reality, because it's for its own, over any knowledge level. Differently, the land of God is not outside ourselves, because its existance just depends by our way to do and we become the active part of this process.

Don't you fear that, due to your presence in both of the projects, someone can think that the thought of Siderartica has been influenced by the vision of Kirlian Camera and in this way your message would be diminished?
Well, I influence myself, Angelo influences me, then I influence him and Andrea and Andrea are influenced by me and Angelo, after they already influenced us. Ok, apart the great fever of the siderkirlian Saturday, why should our message be diminished?!? We are 5 honest guys...!

Ok, then, come back to the album: there are some things that made me very curious, for example the use of the voice in "Lucy Pharr's May". Could you explain its meaning? To me it recalls almost the voice of a preacher...
"Lucy Pharr's May" is the other side of "L'ora dorata". Basically it's its negative side, of the destruction. Here the male voice, Carlo Dainelli's one, is very treated and you can have the impression to listen to an old registration found in some remote place, outside our time (the scrunch that you can hear is clearly wanted). It's true, the disquiet narrating voice seems to preach, describing the events like that it was already foretold.

Where do the necessity and the choice to realize a central part of the album much more minimal and ambient than especially the first tracks derive from?
I would say that it was almost a need from our side, this stopping for a moment the songs to completely abandon ourselves to the ambient of the fable. We wanted some minutes with no sing, think, dance, but simply "travelled", leaving us absorbed by long sounds, sometimes a bit disquieting and other times pacific and natural. In my opinion, too many songs, one after the other, would have weighted and made claustrophobic the album.

Another thing that interested me is the influence that "Portrait of Jennie" had on the album or at least on the title track; can you speak us about?
One of the first tracks to have been thought and that then immediately gave a certain "form" to the album, is "Shapes from the Land of God", for whose we inspired to a silly song appeared in the film "Portrait of Jennie". I saw more times this movie, not because it is so nice, but for the talentful "form" of evocation that it succeedes to emanate. Almost all the shot flows over pictorial paintings in a dark and tight white and black. The only view of that screen is enough to enter in its world of shadows, there would be not even need of dialogues or a narrator to understand where we are. So its role is not negligible in the economy of the album, but, instead, you can breath it with strength, favoring our blackest nature.

If I say that I noticed some recalls to the more refined pop of the eighties what do you answer to me?
I must say that I like this thing. Some sonorities of those years left inside me as a pleasant memory, even I were too young to understand them. Our approach to them was totally unintentional, in fact I knew some "wisdom pearls" of that period just in late age(!), but maybe, from the psychological point of view, it could be considered a ransom for the fact that I began in the late '90s to dedicate myself to the music, losing some important passages of the previous decade. Then it's funny that now I feel some sounds close and familiar, why not, green light for these inspirating muses of the past!

Who or what is it waited for in "Apollyon's Waiting Room"? It recalled the room in the ending of "2001: A space odyssey" to me...
The waiting room of Apollyon is the flow of ethnic memories now clouded, whose remnants are re-memorized in a postcard-form of olympic taste, hellenic. In this sort of "synthetic process", your reference to the future can have feedback.

The album closes with "Nuova York Anno 4". It's useless to deny it. One of the first things I thought was: why New York and how much has the reference to the twin towers and to everything happened after wanted? I know that close an album like yours speaking about a new city could be linked to the concept of something that changes and evolves, but if I think also to the 4 put in the end I think that we just entered in the forth year since 11th September. Is there a connection in all of this?
Really I never thought about the episode of 11th September, even if the title left to glimpse a link. I placed the return of the messiah on the earth in an epoch like ours, in a city like New York, that represents the maximum expression of modernity. We are in a great square of the city, where, once again, Chris has been not believed and then he is humiliated, derided, accused; once again we watch his crucifixion. The spent time means nothing and the men, despite their electronic notebooks in sandwich size and their advanced civilization, made of ufo and french fries, they are still unable to hear the screams of their souls. For this reason, every night the world will exist, the son of God will be forced to move in the darkness, dragging with him his heavy cross, while everybody will see with idiot contempt who crucifixed him before them.

In the last times I listened to many bands that speak about the society where we live in very worried and critic terms. There is a link that I was interested to show you: Ataraxia in the last album spoke about the man like a miserable crew that drifts comparing a gull, you choose a cover who compares a defeated and weak man with a swan, symbol of elegance and purity. Do we really live in a society that slips always more toward the decline? And how or when did all of this begin in your opinion?
Well, saying this it seems that our young italian bands have the myth of the zoo! I don't remember a society that was "clean". I wouldn't like to live neither in the Middle Ages or before Christ, nor in any historical period precedent this. The man was born wrong, but he has everything to improve himself. This is what makes me more angry, that he doesn't. I never was pessimistic because I believe in what I want, but what I want in this world is translated in the terms of a hallucination. I believe that every human being can develop a sort of sensible intelligence that would be enough to have a life full of self-respect and, especially, to not break the balls to the others. The poverty of the man consists in his not will to desire what is fine, it's enough to see the new buildings that are erected fierce in our cities! People like animals and children... What a suck!

  • Federico Tozzi

  • Taken from:

  • English translation: Adalberto Orrigo - 24.03.2005