As much as I like to keep it varied from day to day, I’d be lying in some way if I were to post any other song today. Like many dance music fans my age who don’t have the benefit of having been active fans during the 90s, that decade is truly an endless trove of brilliant machine music, a fact that is making it easier for me to understand folks like Simon Reynolds and the late Mark Fisher with both taking a surprisingly old-dude stance in the past decade by declaring dance music a shadow of its golden age (which for them seems to last from 1989-2005). I wasn’t hip to Anibaldi until scooping up the second volume of Welcome to Paradise: Italian Dream House 89-93 and chancing upon the uplifting melancholy of “Elements” from his recently-reissued Italian House EP courtesy of the Italian-focused Flash Forward label. The promising Future Primitive label started off things in fine fashion with two fresh edits of classic Anibaldi on 94-96. Needless to say, dude is having a moment.
Back when I was still charting the contemporary global techno network back in 2008 and 2009, I recall being smitten early on with the tripping mnml being crafted by the likes of Cio D’Or and Dozzy for the likes of the Prologue label, not to mention mid-00s predecessors like MinimalRome and Elettronica Romana. But alas, I did not go much further than 2004 outside of my Italo Disco fandom, but that still left a solid fifteen-year gap I’m just starting to fill. Ever since stumbling across the rather pricy reissue from new label Lost In It, I’ve learned that Anibaldi’s second album Muta is widely considered a ‘lost class’ of sorts, the kind of record loved by a small but influential lot. Putting on the formerly CD-only ninth track of the album, I knew after fifteen seconds that I would be playing for Team Anibaldi. To be honest, for a measly nine tracks and a second half that plays things a bit more straight than the swampy horror jams of the first disc, there is an insane amount of ideas to digest in every track, the IDM-y choir of horror on the first cut setting the spooky vibe in fine fashion.
The final untitled track provides something of a summation of the album's principle selling points as the voices of giallos past play in both directions, a pattern being set and a martial snare hit on the one, two, and three brought to life by the deliciously flanged hi-hat pattern. Soon this ramshackle ride through the thunderstorm that opens Suspiria find its away into the woods, but we're not alone, not even close. An impatient, stuttering splatter of acid enters as the drums drop out and a maniacal, swirling topline casts the whole mix in a yummy technicolor dread. The fact that Anibaldi is able to squeeze so much out of so few elements speaks to his cinematic sensibility and knack for crafting widescreen tracks that swallow the listener whole in their narrative. Here, in the album's final chapter, we have our big reveal but no Scooby Snacks are on deck, just the Medusa cackle to ensure no one makes it out as organic matter. Deadly stuff.