Rimini`s Manuel Fogliata AKA Nuel has a new album, Fantasia, out on R&S` “ambient” off-shoot, Apollo. Foglitata`s near decade and a half long recording career has seen him collaborate with one of modern techno`s most revered names, Donato “Dozzy” Scaramuzzi, and release a cult classic of his own, in 2011`s Trance Mutation. The bulk of Nuel`s productions could be broadly classified as house / techno – often impossibly deep dub workouts which explore evolving electronic “organics”, releasing the ghosts, the spirits, in the machine – but the aforementioned Trance Mutation, in particular, was a revelation. A record that crossed over to all musical quarters. Built as it was / is from gentle acoustic guitar loops and assorted hand-held percussion – shaken and struck. A finished article that was more Finis Africae than Basic Channel. Sought after in every circle, it`s crying out for a repress from Seattle-based label, Further.
Where Trance Mutation seemed like a slow tribal dance of no fixed geographical location – more a universal ritual – Fantasia feels rooted in Americana. Again this is not techno, but an amped-up American cosmic constructed from live instruments played by Nuel`s one-man-band. Created almost entirely from bass, drum and guitar. The 3 improvised around understated looped keys. Acoustic strum. Electric scratch. Bass slap and twang. Beats rapped out on instruments` wooden bodies. Reminiscent in places of Arthur Russell. Echoing his jerky, rhythmic cello runs. Tumbling like Ginger Baker’s Bill Laswell-produced Celluloid sides. Knocking out muscular microtone grooves that mirror Nisennenmondai`s mad motorik.
Jammin` pumped-up gnarly dynamic stop-start funk patterns. Pow wows spiked with serotonin-secreting lysergic sequences. Pushing the right peyote buttons under the Joshua Tree. Mapping similar a terrain to Mushrooms Project`s epic workouts, and also kinda summoning Simple Minds` `80s stadium rock. Triumphant, redemptive, like U2`s Bad, frantic like their Desire. Burning with Eno & Lanois` Unforgettable Fire.
The closing Quiet, however, is a glance back to Trance Mutation`s meditations. Subtly phased through kaleidoscopic contortions. A simple 6-string figure, set shimmering against percussive scintillation.
Nuel`s Fantasia is available now on Apollo.