Sentiero Futuro Autoproduzioni

Anno Omega Magia cassette

Space-punk from Milan, Italy that sounds like GEZA X battling ZOLAR X battling 8-bit monsters. I love this tape. According to their bio, these folks are in a long-standing punk collective that also dabbles in dungeon synth, and it shows in how adroitly the electronics are used with the traditional instruments. These anthems are punk-first blasts with synths and theremin accompaniment that sound upbeat, hopeful, and fun. “Centro Sociale” has bouncy-ball bass with a unique echoey male/female vocal approach full of character and trills. “Fascita” is fast punk backed with what sounds like a chiptune symphony that gives the proceedings an epic, grand feeling. It takes us on a side quest for glory and righteousness that just happens to finish up in under two minutes. The spooky B-movie theremin on “La Nazione è Pronta” and the shout-along chorus “Troppi Sbirri” hammer home how distinct each track sounds. The whole package is well-composed and arranged and avoids the eggy nerdiness that a lot of synth punk bands skew toward. And check out the rad underground comix-meets-Commodore 64 cover art. Rules. This is a super limited tape release, so act fast if you want a physical copy.

Comunione Comunione cassette

Hazy, wounded punk from this Milanese solo project. These seven tracks work perfectly together as one extended piece and all have a similar sound: empty-room guitar and drums with echoey vocals howling for a better tomorrow. There is a distinct spirituality to the lyrics, a seeking of reassurance. “Fantasma” repeats (according to an online translation of the Italian lyrics) “And the most serene good / And the most serene good / And the most serene good will live again.” Likewise, “Salvati” has a theme of salvation with the lines “Save yourself / From the emotions that annihilate you / From dreams that blind you.” This is clearly a personal work, a missive seeking a more positive future while reckoning with the present. COMUNIONE has a simple sound with shrouded, goth-leaning production, and a profundity that makes this tape a repeat listen.

Eterno Ritorno Eterno Ritorno cassette

ETERNO RITORNO is a punk band from the Veneto region in northern Italy, formed with people from bands like TETRO PUGNALE, KNIGHTZZ, and 3ND7R. This is their debut EP, and it comes in the form of a cassette tape limited to 30 illustrated copies; a beauty of four songs full of dread, anger and desperation. The sound reminds me of the beautiful noise of the Italian hardcore wave of the ’80s, but it is precisely the rabid delivery of the vocals that gives a definite personality to a band that explores all the vicissitudes of living in a deeply conservative region of the country. Keep an eye on them, they have a bright future.

Spirito Di Lupo 4 Songs cassette

The Milan DIY punk scene seems especially strong at the moment, and although I don’t know all the bands who supply personnel for SPIRITO DI LUPO (who are also partly Bolognese), I will rep KOBRA to anyone who cares to listen. Iron Lung clearly agrees, as they put the KOBRA LP out, and have given a North American home to this related band’s debut tape, released in Italy a few months prior. Revelling in its glorious shit-fi recording, it’s got proto-anarcho bin lid drumming, dual glowering dude/irate woman vox, a sort of Euro-Oi! tempo and something approaching a big rock moment in the riff power of the final song, “Canzone Della Foresta.” GERMS meets DIRT via NABAT, and as unhinged as such a meeting would have presumably been in reality.

TV Dust Beep cassette

This tape is entrenched in a childlike post-punk sound. Its angular, somewhat out of focus approach is pulsating with punk grooves. Employing toy drum machines and noisy machines, there’s an element of playful industrial music that gives this tape a really rough feel. Some tracks even dip into electronic, psychedelic sounds, like the sinister “Believe,” which conveys a dark bit of angst. Overall, this is a really unique bit of experimentation, which is really what lo-fi recording is all about.