giovedì 22 ottobre 2009

The return of the painter men

It was about 1987 and my favourite record shop in Turin -with not a lot of originality called "Rock'n'Folk"- had a new strange vinyl in the storefront. It was really strange one, a splash of colours with a monster emerging from a red apple sea! "Peter Sellers and the Hollywood Party" was written on it but we had no other informations at the time. No it wasn't a soundtrack, the music inside was fascinating too, half acoustic via Patti Smith meet Syd Barret, half psychedelic like some paisley american stuff of the time... maybe only a renewed formula of italian folk-rock with echoes of psychedelia and strange imageries, said someone on the magazines at the time. I did not care a lot about the musical press and I fell immediately in love with that sound... those distant guitars and that peculiar voice. The leader and writer of the band, Magick (?!), best known with his original name Stefano Ghittoni, has nowadays a good status as dj & producer, with a glorious past of musician (Dining Rooms etc...). It seems that he doesn't like to talk a lot about this old project and that's a pity because there are no official informations or site about the band and no digital recordings available except for a single track (Chaotic shampoo) on a 1986 Glass Records compilation (50.000 Glass fans can't be wrong). I remember also an interesting side project to PS&HP, a band called "The Subterranean Dining Rooms", more bluesy and introspective with a lo-fidelity attitude. Someone said there was a movement around, some kind of a second wave of italian psychedelia and yes, there were bands (Vegetable men, Screaming floor, No strange etc.), brilliant compilations (The return of the tambourine men! & Oracolo for example) and a mysterious record label called Crazy Mannequin... but it last only for a while and this Milan-based totally underrated group soon disbanded after a second inspired album ('To Make a Romance Out of Swiftness'') with a video version too! Please take a listen, this was the lost adventure of the painter men...

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