Rev Rev Rev news – 2019 SXSW Festival appearance will be their US debut

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Now 2019 can be known as the year ‘One of Europe’s finest ‘gazer bands of the last decade'(Daily Bandcamp) finally makes their live American debut. Italian psych-shoegaze artists Rev Rev Rev  (Laura Iacuzio, Sebastian Lugli, Andrea Dall’Omo and Greta Benatti) will be playing at the 2019 South by Southwest Music Festival to be held March 8th to March 17th in Austin, TX. They were named among the second wave of Showcasing Artists invited to perform at the 2019 event.

Formed in 2011 around Modena, Italy the band didnt hesitate in their idea ‘of creating  a wall-of-sound….alternating psychedelic, dreamy atmospheres and loud, fuzz and driven moments.’  They received their first attention with the digital single “Catching A Buzz” featured on BBC 6 Radio and premiered on Clash Music. This led to their self titled debut album in 2013. Praised by webzines such as Sounds Better with Reverb (‘A mix of swooning numbers, psych, an over-the-top ear bleeders), it sold out 3 months after its release and was eventually reissued in the US under the Neon Sigh label.

Tours and events were to follow such as Manchester’s Cosmosis Festival headlined by the Jesus and Mary Chain and Brian Jonestown Massacre. They also had a 44 date European tour sharing the stage with likes of the Telescopes, Ringo Deathstarr and Gonajasufi. Their performances would lead them to be named as one of the best live shows in a 2015 ranking by 200 promoters and venue managers of the KeepOn Live indie network.  They recently played at the Left of the Dial Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

With their history of tours and events, this appearance will mark another first. They have confirmed that SXSW will be their debut in the states adding “none of us have ever been overseas and we can’t literally wait. Also, we’d like it to be just a first step towards a future US tour. We’re very excited!”

Rev Rev Rev - Des fleurs magiques bourdonnaient

Their last full length album released was 2016’s titled “Des fleurs magiques bourdonnaient”….one of which their song was featured on the Italogaze episode of Chill…but recently the quartet returned to the studio for a new album featuring Sergio Pomante (formerly of Ulan Bator and Lay Llmas) on drums. Speaking of the new album and the invite to the 2019 SXSW Festival they replied, “It’s a real honor and to celebrate it we’re going to play some songs off the new album for the first time.”

 

-source of some of the article shared from press release, interview segments by Ray DeSpinlema

Check out Rev Rev Rev’s 2019 SXSW page.

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Catching up with Italogaze – Chill #44

With new releases from veteran music acts Stella Diana and In Her Eye – for Stella its their 20 year anniversary – devoting an entire episode of Chill to Italogaze was obvious.  Unfortunately the process of writing about this hasnt been but thats another story to tell.  Since the day “the scene that celebrated itself” was considered dead by the UK music press to the formation of Stella Diana in 1998, the history of Italian shoegaze has been based on loose foundations.  While America and other countries had their niche boutiques, band and labels to turn to, Italy’s two acts beforehand seemed to be Sonic Youth influenced Marlene Kuntz and early Frozen Autumn – a band that went on to more darkwave leanings.  So the term loose foundations would be appropriate.  Even when Stella was formed, it was with two members – Giacomo Salzano and Dario Torre – a drum machine and a demo to rockit.  Although they did some touring playing in festivals – one of them featuring Clan of Xymox, their first proper release wouldnt be until 2005.  Two years later, Aldo Bernuzzi, Giuseppe Galotti and Stefano Schiavella decided to form In Her Eye.  They released their first album in 2011.

 

 

 

Since then, the Italian shoegaze scene has gained considerable momentum somewhat comparable to the morphed and revived nu-gaze and shoegaze reunions around the world.  From Rev Rev Rev who seems to be inspired by MBV, Jesus and Mary Chain and UVS to Be Forest – who relies on the aesthetics of futuristic preservation and the ever evolving and revolving influences of Clustersun, there’s many Italogaze bands that rely on the various stages of shoegaze and even dream pop, from the pre-Loveless age of wall of sound echoing distorted yet lush guitar sounds to the post Loveless/Eno Slowdive incorporaton of electronics, Guthrie like guitar riffs and the classic wall of distorted lush guitars with the typical hushed lyrics throughout.  With Vipchoyo Sound Factory, they even have a label thats been friendly to them also…just like Projekt and Bedazzled in the US and 4AD and Creation in the UK.  They recently released a nifty Italogaze compilation album.

And of course they never underestimate the emotions as Stella Diana quoted when recording the 2018 released “Iris”.  “As always happens, there is no relationship between the title and the lyrics. Iris is a vortex, a wall, a set of sensations. An elusive feminine figure suggests that perfection is represented by the number 3, but the rest of the lyrics emphasize the difficulty of communication between people.  In Her Eye echoes the same with their latest release “Change” – “Closer to me was the first song written after our latest EP Borderline came out. It’s one of those songs that, as you write them, you already know you’ll love: because it grows instinctively, smoothly. It’s essentially a love song. It can be interpreted in many ways, as often happens with our lyrics. It’s actually above all a (self-)discovery.”

So no need to explain where Italian shoegaze came from – actually i tried to write a brief history… but WordPress.  Playlist is below with links.

 

By the way – considering the focused theme, i made this episode immediately available on my this is chill#/the daily chill YouTube page.  Chill #44 – Italogaze is available on Spotfiy podcast for a limited time and if you’re a soundcloud subscriber, i have it attached below.

1 – harrison ford – stella diana
2 – buzzing flowers ecstasy – rev rev rev
3 – close to me – in her eye
4 – dream las vegas – HalloweenStabParty
5 – losing myself again – umbrella burning festival
6 – lonely moon – clustersun
7 – crazy – mary’s restless dream
8 – breath – obree
9 – lovers – novanta
10- iris – stella diana
11 -ripples (alt version) – rev rev rev – Speaking about this version rev rev rev member Laura Iacuzio comments -“This alternate version is the very first mix that came out in the studio. We liked its dark mood, but felt it didn’t completely fit with the general atmosphere of the album. So we asked Alessio and Fabio for some changes, and went for a different version on the record. But we kept this one, which finally found its place, being featured in the “Chiaroscuro” Italogaze compilation, out last May.”  12 – cherry – kimono lights

Special thanks to Laura Iacuzio

 

 

note – some sources of article are from press releases

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Watch the video “Berlin is in Love” by Starframes

I wanted to quickly share the second single “Berlin is in Love” from dream pop influenced artists Starframes before the upcoming album “Nicht Vergessen” is released late 2018.  The song is directly related to the homonymous chapter of the novel, written by vocalist and guitarist Raphael Bramont, that will follow the album’s release.

Starframes formed in Naples, Italy 14 years ago and has three releases – the full album ‘Street Politics” in June 2009(Mile High Music Records, UK), the follow up “Ethereal Underground” in early 2011 and the self-produced EP “Unwired” in summer 2014.

If you like jangly guitars with an outpouring of uplifting synth pads and a slice of slide effects conveyed by a nice kick of beats and pensive driven lyrics to match then check it out.   The video is added above.

(parts of the article is sourced from a press release)

With their new release “Change”, Italian shoegaze artists In Her Eye on the path to refined harmony

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The third release from Milan, Italy’s In Her Eye is titled “Change” and the eight song album has progressed in ways since the days of their 2011 debut “Anywhere Out of the World”.  Their path to achieving refined harmony is obvious.

Since the beginning, In Her Eye’s sound has delivered a powerful mixture of 80’s new wave echoes (New Order, The Cure), shoegaze and sonic suggestions (Swervedriver, My Vitriol, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.); all filtered through a genuine rock attitude.

In Her Eye has dedicated “Change” to movement and transformation. In the last few years, original band members (Aldo Bernuzzi, Giuseppe Galotti, Stefano Schiavella) passed through a lot of changes: relationships, new births, life philosophies. The line-up has changed as well: with Raffaele Bocchetti (former Stella Diana) joining the band.  And with the addition, they’re convinced the In Her Eye classic sound has recreated and enriched itself with new hues and shades.  The album songs, featuring backing vocals by Antonia Chiara Ciancaglini (The Mystic Morning) is proof the signature sound is still there.  Sometimes it’s psychedelia, sometimes it’s pop. To them, it’s all a game of change.

The results are a satisfying balance of old and new.  Vocalist Giuseppe Galotti’s signature varied styles continue on the new album;  whether he’s fluctuating from Lawrence from Felt or Tom Verlaine to Adam Franklin of Swervedriver.  Whatever personal change they’re experiencing, the urge to dance will never cease, a reminder of where In Her Eye is positioned in the dancey/not dancey spectrum of the Italogaze universe.  And yet songs crafted like “Closer to Me”,”Bianca” and to an extent “Change” can arguably testify to some of its changes with its driving but subdued rhythmic direction, ideas that highlighted some of Swerverdriver’s 2015 release “I Wasn’t Born to Lose You” allowing more of its dreamy jangly guitar ambience to emerge.  That said, though not as raw and lacking in ambience as some of their early releases, it still hasn’t lost that loving feeling with unhinged grandiosity as demonstrated by “Neon Lights” and “Demons” before culminating with “As In A Dream”, catchy with its crispy riffs and punchy beats as if they were dreaming of an Oxford band in the city of Milan.  The reflective sounding “Life” closes out the album, returning to those changes and it seems appropriate, both songs stating their case at the crossroads.  

While “Change” their first release since 2015s Borderline is dedicated to their personal evolving, its title can also reflect the response their influence is receiving especially in Italy.  Only a few years ago nobody would have associated shoegaze to Italy; yet today Italogaze – as it has been dubbed – starting from an underground word of mouth, has gained a solid international credibility; shoegaze lovers are enthusiastic about bands like Be Forest, Stella Diana, Clustersun, Rev Rev Rev, and happily discover other outfits that animate the scene.   Their dedication to reconditioning that sound in the last seven years has paid off.

Since 2015 the band has been involved in a handful of tribute compilations (The Cure, Ride, Wire), while composing songs for the new album.  In Her Eye’s album “Change” is available for release on June 1st (2018).   Beforehand, check out the single “Closer to Me” on their bandcamp page or the embedded link below.

Stella Diana marks its 20th year of shoegaze and dream pop with their fifth album “57”

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Since the UK press first dubbed it “the Scene that Celebrates Itself” in the late 80s/early 90s, the shoegaze music scene has experienced an ebb and flow ever since, whether its a first wave act breaking up for different reasons, a moratorium declared by another or even a decision to change music styles, only to return years or decades later with new releases and a desire to reform and revive….even the UK media has declared it dead before reviving it again.  Yet during the original aftermath, others remaining continue to exist before breaking up and new ones form – even if its entire existence is under the radar. 

One of them is 20 year Italian shoegaze and dream pop veterans Stella Diana  and they are back with their newest album “57”, the awaited follow-up to the 2016 release Nitocris, which inspired rave reviews.  Over the course of five albums and nearly two decades of existence, the Italian combo has become recognized as one of the best shoegaze acts around, thanks to their master songcraft, their hypnotic rhythmic section and soaring, textured guitars. They have managed to grow a sizeable international following despite having been singing entirely in Italian until 2015, and while they keep exploring new sonic frontiers, their style remains uniquely recognizable.  They continue to galvanize the so-called Italogaze movement (short for Italian shoegaze) which includes bands like Clustersun, Rev Rev Rev, In Her Eye, Electric Floor and Novanta. No accident that the bewitching track ‘Do Androids’ features guitars of Rev Rev Rev’s Sebastian Lugli.

Named after the ancient name of planet Venus (Morning Star), Stella Diana were formed in 1998 in Southern Italy’s city of Naples by Dario Torre (vocals and guitar) and Giacomo Salzano (bass guitar), joined by Giulio Grasso on drums.   They assemble the the layers of shimmering guitars of bands like Ride and Lush, the dark wave atmospheres of Bauhaus and Joy Division, and new wave structures reminiscent of Echo And The Bunnymen and The Chameleons. And yet, Stella Diana are not at all a mere sum of their influences.  As Primal Music’s Del Chaney puts it, they “meld together a heady brew of driving post-punk, melodic dreampop and hazy shoegaze to produce musical soundscapes so mesmerising that they literally take my breath away”.    With commentary like that, its no surprise they’ve emerged as one of the faces of the current wave of shoegaze bands, whether they’re called Italogaze, nugaze, LA gaze, ethereal wave, dream pop, etc.

 

And with the new album “57”, every song has been composed in total freedom, without pressure and without schemes, aiming to create a dreamlike, delicate and unreal sound. Dreamlike as the hermetic lyrics, used only as an extra color in each song, even if – in general – what they describe is always the loneliness and lack of communication between people.  In accordance with their strong DIY principles, 57 was recorded and mixed by bass player Giacomo Salzano, and produced by the whole band in their own recording studio, allowing to keep complete control over the music.  The obsession with simplicity is present also in the cover art. A blood-red number on a black canvas, but a number that is not immediately clear, looking like a mark, or a piece of cave drawing.

“57” is scheduled for release on the 25th of May via Vipchoyo Sound Factory (IT) and Siete Senoritas Gritando(ES). Until then, the first single “Der Sandmann” is out and can be seen on youtube or heard on Chill #39.