Mana is the new double album from Italian music shaman Gianluca Becuzzi, an important name in the history of Italian industrial/experimental underground and active since the 80’s.
In recent years Becuzzi has developed a strong interest toward the atavistic and ritualistic side of music, moving away from the concept of songs as products for consumption and redescovering the cultural heritage of music as language.
Through drone patterns and distorted downtuned guitars placed amidst moments of eerie stillness, he explores the similarities between the power of the word and gesture in music and the shamanic rituals of the past and the present.
With these premises, no better title than “Mana” could have been chosen for this magnus opus in which minimal ethnic sounds meet grandiose walls of distortion in a coherent mix of Becuzzi’s electro-acoustic interests and his recent research in maximalist soundscapes.
“Invocation” is an apt intro, starting with suspended dissonances and minimal, sparse rhythmic elements and then evolving in an epic droning mantra.
“For A Modern Atavism” plays with darker undertones via eerie, sudden lamentations and orchestral tensions soon subdued by vibrant riffs placed among them, while “Land Of The Totem” follows suit with a similar theme, but giving even more space to dark ambient sounds and strings.
“Voice Of The Mountain” is a twenty minutes epic that emerges from the mist of time as the boulder on the cover of the album, accompanied by chants in a ritual underlined by shilling lines. Moments of grim beauty crash against climaxes made of distorted guitars, and even distorted violins scratch the ether.
“Mana” is both a continuation and evolution of the sound and theme of the previous “In Between”, focusing less on the human element (the shaman/vehicle) and more on the force of power/sound as language in itself expressing primordial knowledge that can’t be contained in simple words.
Release date: October 21st, 2021.
Text by: Davide Pappalardo.