Derma “Signore E Signori, Buonanotte…”

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Artist: Derma
Title: Signore E Signori, Buonanotte…
Format: LP
Label: Luce Sia
Rated: *****

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Derma is the project of Riccardo Bianchi (voice) and Massimo Magrini (music and most known for his solo project Bad Sector ). “Signore E Signori Buonanotte” is their second release, out as the first one on Luce Sia but, this time, instead of a tape we have a white vinyl packed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with a lyrics insert and postcard in a limited edition of 240 numbered copies. The first thing that pops out, even before checking their music, are the wood sculptures made by Riccardo Bianchi used for the graphics: they remember me of the robots made by Kraftwerk but while those ones have always given me an idea of futurism, I feel like these ones are their mysterious and primitive progenitors. Putting the record on the turntable, well, strangely enough, I had the same feeling: something we could call retro-futurism, maybe? Musically we have good 70’s/80’s synth electro tunes with, sound-wise, some modern intuitions: some distorted parts, like IDM rhythms or some lead synths plus the metallic filtered vocals. The effect created is an interesting one and, as already told, is like a mix of old and new: something old which is looking toward the future or something coming from the future which is taking inspiration from the past. This isn’t something easy to explain because if I would say that they are taking inspiration from the early Depeche Mode and John Foxx it would be right and wrong at the same time. Take tracks like “Test” or “Gesti”, they are melodic and catchy but at the same time, they are minimal, cold, and experimental. Lyrics are in Italian (the insert has them translated in English) and the vocals are a mix of singing and declamation which are just right for the lyrics. See tracks like “Ditalia”, which is talking about Italy’s darkest times. You know, stuff like the Ustica affair or the Red Brigades, etc. The only weak point is that the lyrics sometimes aren’t really intelligible and the inner sheet has only the English translation. Anyway, they are probably the best nowadays’ electronic Italian project, for me.