When Simona Faraone told me about the project inviting me to participate, we were in full lockdown. I lived absolutely isolated. Little or no musical inspiration at all. As i received and read the material, the similarities between history and the period we are still living were evident to me. In those days I had only sketched out a few tracks. They all sounded damn good for the story. The dystopian sense and the yearning for freedom that pervades the whole comic book were present in the sounds and atmospheres recalled by the music. I sent the pieces to Simona and Gianluca Pernafelli and asked them to choose one according to their taste. So “Later That Night” became the first track on the album and all the others ended up in my next album which will be released very soon for NIM.
The enthusiasm of the first raves; a project that speaks to us of the future as a dystopian reflection of that past; the virus; media, social and mental control; the healthy youth riots, the aesthetic hysteria that makes us humanly clowns: these are all themes usually dear to the sci-fi that is dismembered here in a comic storyboard and in a fetish soundtrack. The impression is that the entire project remains faithful to the Dionysian principle of a search for some form of libidinal pleasure in sound and color. Each track is very different from the others, it is like a critique or if we want an upgrade to the different musical genres and the parts that usually make up a film. Reading the story, I remembered the critical charge of Tezuka’s first manga, a young autohr who could not forget his people’s fear of the atomic bomb and who intended to help him psychoanalytically elaborate that intolerable epic of the false and totalitarian. The interesting thing is that the Kimera Mendax project was born and developed before the covid started to spread!
Hyena (Giona Vinti)
“Talamo, o la Memoria” is directly inspired by the part of the comic in which agent Decimo visits the Talamo’s junk shop. The scene is devoid of action and revolves around the dialogue between the two. My intention was to play on the relationship between past, present and future from two points of view. The first is that of the convergence of different musical styles, a downtempo with 808 kickdrum that acts as a kick drum and bass, a style that is now omnipresent in contemporary productions from hip hop to trap to other urban and electronic sub-genres that, however, clashes and mixes with the broken rhythms of the first jungle (which in a matryoshkas game take us back to the funk and black music of the 70s …). The glue between these sound worlds is an attitude of industrial matrix, the antigener who since the end of the 70s has criticized the musical establishment in a particularly corrosive way. The second point of view is that of the techniques used: historical samplers (the legendary Akai s950) and contemporary (Akai mpc live), little synthesizer (the bass, but rigorously resampled in 950, and the sounds of the drum machine, all synthesized) and, even here to give cohesion, the turntable! I particularly liked the idea of using the turntable as an instrument in a piece that will in turn be printed on vinyl. The real ninja of turntablism will forgive me for my somewhat naive scratches, but this technique could not be missing in a song that, like Kimera Mendax, is also a tribute to the 90s, without tacky nostalgia, but preserving the memory that is capable of guiding our actions in the present and shaping the future.
I got to read the entire comic in the final stages of its writing thanks to my friend Gianluca, the screenwriter. As a comic book consumer and a dystopian Sci-fi enthusiast, I immediately felt at home, the rest came by itself. I think what basically inspired me is our city, Rome, and the chosen settings. Against this background, the story unfolds with its characters, their duality and the search for balance. After all, by telling an imaginary future we are taking a picture of a present… perhaps even more dystopian than any more perverse fantasy.
051 Destroyer (Mattia Trani)
In “Cyb(moth)er” the themes of dystopia and mystery are prevalent, themes that characterize the comic and that go perfectly with my concept of electronic music. The song is harmoniously linked to this project: if you listen to it while you read the comic, you enter a parallel dimension, right in the fatal 2048! Music and images, in my opinion, intersect perfectly and one enhances the others, and vice versa.
The title is dedicated to the figure of the moth present in the comic: light in the darkness of an increasingly uncertain future and present.
As for my track, I think it is a perfect combination of past and present: I imagined a comfortable setting but at the same time veiled by a sense of discomfort, disturbed by insistent technology. A look to the future but in a retro way: then nothing better than using the Roland 909 which was indeed “futuristic”, but today it can sound super vintage! In short: warm sounds and a pressing cold rhythm. The song flows as liquid as the waters of the Tiber that we recorded and inserted into the sound stream. It was not easy, since the Tiber is not a very “noisy” river, but I am really happy with the result. Congratulations to all the artists, and to Elena Casagrande for the fantastic album cover!
The proposal of our song has been reworked thinking about the epic and powerful final chapter of the comic, from which it also takes the name. “Reverse Universe” initially offers a melodic sequencer that gives voice to the musical part suggested by the protagonists of the pages, growing quickly with a frenetic, fitting and acidic rhythm. Everything flows towards the explosive performance of the final sound battle on the sky of Rome. This dialogue between sounds and images was truly stimulating, and it’s a pleasure to be part of this project, free from any commercial logic. The result certainly will not leave anyone indifferent.
“Orizzonti perfetti” is a dedication to Kimera Mendax. The song doesn’t have a unique inspiration. I immediately thought of it as an abstract voice, coming out from the end credits, which stands out in the pneumatic void of the final explosion of the story. There is the suggestion of the urban environment, with the city of Rome always present. There is the suggestion of one of the protagonists, DJ Xtal “… because we are hearts that beat, deaf and perpetual.”
And the suggestion given by the essay Talamo “Beauty, when you strive to live without surrendering your existence to an algorithm, is just that: there is room for discovery, surprise … madness …”. And this project it is full of surprises and… madness!