C25 + download
It sounds like Morton Feldman playing doom metal. A ten-minute rumble of bass piano cadences interrupted by spirals of right-hand arpeggios. This playful-solemn solo piano-storm thunders along gracefully and we could happily release whole boxsets of this stuff, but this isn’t even the main gist of blue twenty: Quasiviri, which sees the tape series return to its beloved “one epic track per side” safe space.
Rather, the funereal baroque-gone-serialism of the piano piece is what the ‘proper’ music industry calls a B-side, as it is an instrumental run-through of Choro Tempore, the release’s ‘A-side’ pop song, arranged for piano.
And what does the real Choro Tempore sound like? Well, obviously not very pop, except by our warped standard. It’s a blizzard of time changes enacted by belly-slapping, octo-stringed fuzz bass, drums, vocal harmonies and psychedelic synthesiser. Yes, OK, it’s a Blue Tapes prog record.
A big monster of a song that builds and builds and double backs on itself in myriad internal musical conversations and could be at least ten separate songs - or a symphony - but is obviously best as this weird hymnal, minimal rock piece.
I find the best way to listen to Choro Tempore is endlessly, on a loop, as the piece flips mischievously between its ‘rock’ and ‘classical’ forms - the janus faces of Quasiviri, a preternaturally talented Italian trio, alternately grinning and howling at us, as they scramble the mind cells of the listener that little bit further with each iteration.
Choro Tempore also sounds like a pop record because it was mastered by the guy who does Muse’s stuff, but sounds like it eats Muses for breakfast.
Praise for Quasiviri:
“Superheroes should be psychedelic motherfuckers. Quasiviri sometimes sound to me like a pop Oneida – and if anyone are superheroes, then its fucking Oneida. It’s that muscular, fuck-you bass – which sometimes just settles into an up-middle-fingered stomp and then stomps all over your face. It’s those mind-scrambles of organ. It’s the fact you can fill up a fuck of a lot of space with just three instruments and a sound to die for. But it’s not just wig-out mayhem. Quasiviri is tight, clear-eyed, ultra-focused and purposeful rock that just happens to share a sound with your dream psychedelic record. It isn’t prone to noodling, or playing jazz chords with 20 notes when one note repeated 20 times will do just as well. Also it’s playful, and funny, and why isn’t it this stuff that people are obsessing over now? Be not apologetic. Play like a superhero. Walk like a motherfucker.” - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
“Think Ian Curtis and Primus. Then forget and forgive me about that, and press play. Quasiviri.” - Komakino