One year after the reprint as a free download and limited edition cd of the Trax 0983 Anthems project, Radical Matters reproposes with the same formula the first vinyl album produced by the atypical group/label TRAX in the distant year 1982. Following up a series of audiocassettes assembled with similar methodologies (Technodeath, Horrorbox, The Cop Killers, etc.), this pioneering album conceived and coordinated by Piermario Ciani synthesized brilliantly the idea of a “telematic” (and “modular”) music, composed and played through collaborations at distance, a concept explored before the age of Internet both by activists of the heterogeneous international “tape network” and by exponents of the “serious” electronic music scene, for example Pietro Grossi. As usual in this series of reprints started in 2007 with the double cd Rednight, Gianluca Becuzzi took care of the remastering from the original vinyl and added a new experiment in composition at distance (NewXtra). Nigel Ayers is the only participant of Xtra that has been involved again, creating thirty years later an ideal bridge between the two projects.
For the occasion, I immersed myself once again in the archive of memories, digging up some images and documents of the period (the Grand Trax 0184 box, in particular, contained some graphics originally created for a deluxe edition of the Xtra lp, never completed), added here as an extra bonus and testimony of the multimedial disposition of the whirl of products and events that TRAX got under way between 1981 and 1987.
Whatever happened to the original TRAX Units? Some friends (to whom this reprint is dedicated) have sadly come to an untimely end, others are still active in areas connected to the artistical and musical scene, even with high-profile results (like Massimo Giacon in the fields of design, comics and contemporary art, or Martin Hall, who has become in Denmark a cult writer and composer), yet others are today professors of high repute or hold public offices in the cultural sector (Martina, Ciullini). If you appreciated the unique mixture of bizarre new wave, darting elettropop, ferocious industrial-noise and minimalist ambient of Xtra, let us know, we will feel more motivated to retrieve a few other rare relics. Once more, my warmest thanks go to all the authors involved and to Gianluca Becuzzi and Sandro Gronchi, without whose genuine enthusiasm this work would have never seen the light of day.
Vittore Baroni, January 2011
1 - Gamma Thetan (01<02<08<04)
2 - Strange Quack Quack (01<03<10)
3 - Di lui non si sa più nulla (01<03<07)
4 - Nastro rosso (01<03<06)
5 - Fishes (01<09<08)
6 - Combination (01<04<03)
7 - Ancora icone (01<09<08)
8 - Fanfare for the Meat Generation (01<07<04)
9 - Live Blister Bump (01<02<07<09)
10 - I Love Cancer (01<10<06<04)
01 - Piermario Ciani: concept, organization & mix.
02 - Vittore Baroni: text, voice, guitar, post office.
03 - Massimo Giacon: text, voice, noises, casiotone. With Spirocheta Pergoli: Fabio Beltrame (sax, bass), Enrico Friso (keyboards), Alberto Mineo (bass, guitar, guitar synth).
04 - Giancarlo Martina: guitar. With B.Sides: Bruce (vocals), Gian (drums), Spyke (keyboards), Momi (drums, base only).
05 - Martin Hall: tapes, noises (base only).
06 - Enrico Piva: tapes, keyboards, personal IBM.
07 - Nocturnal Emissions: Nigel Ayers (tapes, voice, violin), Caroline K (synth, voice).
08 - Daniele Ciullini: synth.
09 - De Rezke: Angelo Pretolani (text, voice, rhythmbox, casiotone), Roberto Rossini (synth, voice, casiotone), Marco Canepa (synth, sequencer).
10 - Ado Scaini: rhythmbox, synth (base only). With Ale (keyboards, base only), Plexy (synth, sequencer, base only), W. Gibson (bass, guitar), Radar (drums), Silence (bass), Blue Panther (maracas), Frankie Gasperoni (geometer).
Tracks 1-10 released by TRAX in September 1982 as a black vinyl LP in edtion of 1000 copies. Original cover art: Piermario Ciani & Cristina.
Thanks to Studio Diamine, Rap & Momi, Atelier De Montage, 001... Cancer, Centro UH!
In affectionate memory of Piermario, Caroline K and Enrico Piva.
(bonus) TRAX NEWXTRA 2011
11 - Gianluca Becuzzi / VV.AA. - Where Angels Can't Land (25’ 18”)
Central Unit: Gianluca Becuzzi: electroacoustic drones, sound objects, programming. Peripheral Units: Nigel Ayers - Nocturnal Emissions: handcrafted digital audio, Made in Cornwall. Simon Balestrazzi: prepared ukelin and tsymbaly, bird calls, analogue synths. Fabio Orsi: processed electric guitar. Pietro Riparbelli: transcoded short wave radio. Rod Summers/VEC Audio: vocals, vocal treatments, with Marie-Claire Krell (vocals).
Full lenght audio: 44 ":44"
Edition, Curating, Design and Manifactured by
Radical Matters - Edition / Label | SG.