Today, Franco Nanni is an eminent psychologist. But in 1983 he wrote the Italo-Disco bomb, Lost Time. Then in 1987 he produced the New Age sleeper, Elicoide. A record known only by heads the likes of Dream Chimney. But now, if you`re quick you can purchase the reissue, plus two sides of bonus material, from Italian label, Affordable Inner Space. The physical off-shoot of on-line Electronica magazine, electronique.it, run by Ivo D’Antoni.
Nanni calls his music “Ascetic Trance”. Citing John Cage and Arvo Pärt as influences. But Elicoide is nowhere near as minimal as that sounds. Throughout, winds and chimes interplay with strings. Bowed and scraped. Mitochondria has Arthur Russell jamming to Mark Isham`s Raffles In Rio. Echoing Wally Badarou`s Keys. Gongs and bells reverberate in counter rhythm like talking drums in an almost Africa. DNA would make a great companion to Beverly Glenn-Copeland`s sublime Sunset Village. High koto timbres match the beauty of Hiroshi Yoshimura`s AIR In Resort. Minus the crackle of the scent that Shiseido crazily saw fit to add to the promotional vinyl. All that ringing and you`ve got to be thinking of Haroumi Hosono. The japanese maestro`s mercurial dance from Exotica to a unique meditative ambience. The title track could be the Penguin Cafe Orchestra if covered by Kraftwerk. Meiosis could be The Balanescu Quartet repaying the compliment to Kraftwerk. Mitosi adds a smoky sax. RNA, the gentle processed sighs of Julia Holter greeting an old flame. The shamanistic chant of Jonas moves to the Afro / Cosmic of Clara Mondshine, or Peru`s Continents. The closing song, the previously unreleased Poesia, sung by Marcela Pérez Silva, marks a departure for Nanni. Recorded at a time of personal sadness it represents the meeting of the old and the new. Where the solo electronics of Elicoide gave way to new possibilities.
The best place to pick up a copy of Franco Nanni`s Elicoide is at the Affordable Inner Space Bandcamp page.
Franco Nanni will perform Elicoide live in Rome on April 22. You can find more details here.