Various Artists – Flowers From The Ashes: Contemporary Italian Electronic Music (Stroboscopic Artefacts)


As its title suggests, this latest compilation from Stroboscopic Artefacts ‘Flowers In The Ashes’ sees label boss Lucy collecting together ten new tracks from a diverse range of different electronic artists originating from Italy. While many of the more familiar names here such as Ninos Du Brasil and Chevel have now made their base of operations outside of their original homeland, Lucy describes this compilation as more of a ‘portrait of a shared spirit and cultural memory.’

Whatever the case, Stroboscopic Artefacts certainly haven’t paid much attention to narrow genre boundaries, with the inclusions here ranging from more deconstructed IDM atmospheres through to more dancefloor-centred techno. Things start off slow and gentle at first, as Silvia Kastel’s ‘Errori’ crafts vaguely ominous atmosphere from sparsely placed glockenspiel-like tones, ringing hamonic pads and aquatic splashes, her treated vocals wafting like vapour in the foreground, with nothing approaching a ‘real’ beat in sight.

Marco Shuttle’s ’Lux Et Sonus’ injects a pensive post-punk tinged vibe as clattering rhythms provide a syncopated motorik undercarriage for howling coldwave synths and angular appeggiated bass notes, the entire track seeming to speed off into the darkness like a haunted train as the background sounds and echoed notes get caught up in a dense web of dub delay.

Alessandro Adriani’s ‘You Will Not Be There For The End’ meanwhile sees the Mannequin mainman eschewing his usual EBM techno stylings in favour of dark booty-bass atmosphere as sinister Kraftwerkian bass arpeggios wind their way against cycling kickdrums and harsh industrial snares, in an offering that has closer kinship with the ghettotech likes of DJ Godfather than anything else.

Elsewhere, Lory D’s ‘PRV-HH3-X’ opts for frenetic acid house as elastic synth arpeggios get filtered and reversed against queasily wavering tones and a crisp backbone of kicks and handclaps, before Caterina Barbieri drops things down into glacial contemplation as stately synth arrangements build up into an imposing wall of icy textures in a manner that calls to mind one of John Carpenter’s foreboding yet minimalist electronic scores. As an overview of some of the contemporary sounds emanating from Italy’s electronic music scene both local and ex-pat, ‘Flowers From The Ashes’ is pure class all the way through.


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