The title of this collaboration between Sigillum S and Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte hardly rolls off the tongue, and ‘eschaton’ in case you were wondering means end times, doomsday or whatever you wanna call it. This would intonate music that was, let us say, less than optimistic. Anyone who has followed my reviews over the past couple of years will know I am a sucker for interesting album art and the work done here by Petulia Mattioli is no exception. A neon light with such a colour scheme and sharp futuristic feel that I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t catch the attention of oft mentioned (by me) director Nicholas Winding Refn – The Neon Demon, Drive, Only God Forgives. The album is being released on fantastically diverse Italian label Subsound Records and was recorded in London as well as various cities in Italy.
And so onto the album’s protagonists, Sigillum S are an Milan quartet formed in 1985 who play harsh noise/electronics, made up of Eraldo Bernocchi, Paolo L. Bandera, Luca Di Giorgio and recent arrival as of 2015 Bruno Dorella. Their recent album was released in February and titled Coalescence Of Time: Other Conjectures On Future. The other collaborator Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte, aka MMM (a reference to the New York subway which, after midnight, turns into a dangerous slaughterhouse as seen in Clive Barker’s novel Midnight Meat Train), formed in Rome in 2001 by Adriano Vincenti and who mine a similar territory to Last Call at Nightowls, dark noir doom jazz. In fact I have had their 2019 album Noir Jazz Femdom on repeat for quite a while now.
The album is a mere two tracks and opens with the longer of these at fifteen minutes twenty, Part 1. As I suspected from the cover art, the music has a futurist sci-fi quality about it with synths omnipresent for at least the first six and a half minutes after which MMM‘s noir jazz sax lines and atmospherics start to come more to the fore ala Albert Ayler as well as aforementioned labelmates Last Call at Nightowls. There is a trip-hop Portishead vibe too which helps give the track a much needed sense of warmth and rather than jar with the cold electronica and dark Jazz, it blends in surprisingly effectively.
At no time did I feel a sense of awkwardness or incongruity from either participant, it felt natural with both complimenting the other to brilliant effect…
The slightly shorter at fourteen minutes fifty one Part 2 starts with a slow build-up and has more of an industrial flavour, in contrast to the retro 80s synth approach of Part 1. There is a much more ominous tone which is more Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross than John Carpenter. There also isn’t much if any sax work, instead choosing to focus on noise soundscapes, which is of course Sigullum S‘ bread and butter, but also harkens back to Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte dark ambient and noise past on such releases as Profilo Ottimale Delle Ferite (Optimal Wound Profile) demonstrating that they’re no stranger to Sigullum‘s sound, despite their more jazz inclined output of recent years.
Due to Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte‘s involvement I was always going to review this release but even I was pleasantly surprised with how great the album was. At no time did I feel a sense of awkwardness or incongruity from either participant, it felt natural with both complimenting the other to brilliant effect. As with the best collaborations, it served to expose me to a new artist while confirming my love of the other. Outstanding.
Scribed by: Reza Mills