Claudia Placanica and MauSS a.k.a Costume return with a digital series of club-oriented tracks collected in the two albums Blanditia Vol 1 and Blanditia Vol. 2. 18 tracks characterized by more of a dance vibe indulging in house, electro, synth-pop, techno, a sort of response to their more experimental efforts of late. But be warned: once again the duo like to play with our expectations and preconceived notions of their identity. Published on 2 Rhythm 4 Record the double album offer the roots of Costume’s sound while not simply repeating the past. Every track has its own sonic world and story, and Claudia’s voice guides us as Virgil among dungeons made of life, sensuality, experiences and even tongue in cheek topics.
The Ugly Seduction welcomes us with summer-time house movements and soulful vocals full of energy, underlined by serpentine kicks and snare-drums. Electro undertones complete a seducing track with a straight-to-the-point nature. I Shot Lenin is a galloping mantra with obsessive rhythms and riffing synth sounds, a dancefloor number with steady cymbals and late-night atmospheres.
Wave Of Love offers darker atmospheres and broken structures in a sleazy moment where a male voice dances with Claudia in a seedy soundscape. Firm kicks pound our ears in a dream-like track with lysergic vibes. Call A God remembers us that Costume are not simply a dance act: the experimental song unites jazzy passages, noise electronics and a crooning vocal delivery in a claustrophobic passage that wouldn’t be out of place in a film by Lynch.
You returns to elegant club sounds with its minimal structure underlined by droning rhythmic patterns and blipping synth sounds. Claudia’s voice perfectly matches the obsession of the music with her recollection of, maybe, a lover, giving an ulterior meaning to the dance song. A Hallucinatory Party surprises us with filtered guitar sounds and trip-hop rhythms, a dreamy affair with suspended atmospheres and soothing soundscapes. Well placed synths give us subtle melodies, while almost jazz guitars complete the peculiar atmosphere.
The Most Languid Light is a love letter to 90’s sounds and bands like Portishead and Massive Attack, a triumph of sampled arches, broken rhythms and touching vocals. Once again the repertoire of Costume shows its eclectic nature, but Claudia’s voice remain a focal point thanks to her passionate delivery. The Missing Music could be considered a ballad of sort, a majestic track with evocative synths and cinematic passages full of melancholy. A soundtrack to an imaginary movie, a moving crescendo with a strong climax made of eerie melodies. Blanditia means caress and flattery in Latin, a term which perfectly encapsulates the mood of this series of tracks. An almost nostalgic, eerie character touches both the dance moments and the slower tracks, while Claudia’s voice narrates us tales of love, passion, mysterious nights and lost moments. Its like a yearning for life and love after a long period of seclusion without human contact, something in this peculiar period most of us can relate to, surely.
Release date: April 5th, 2021.
Text by: Davide Pappalardo