Friday, July 28, 2006

Massaccesi Goes Disco

Enter the mad world of Massaccesi!

I received a package today from my American friend John Fanning, also known as Massaccesi, a musical and visual artist working mostly on the experimental field (his works has been released by such labels as Phthalo of USA). I wrote last year this text about the origins of pHinnWeb where John was very instrumental too. This package included some of his latest works, a Massaccesi CDR and two CDRs of unpublished material of his new project Massakiss (which John calls his own take on gay disco).

I had time to listen to the first Massakiss CDR and a bit of the second one before I left for Net café. I can't say much about the sound politics because I'm not an expert there like Kompleksi's own Mike Not (you can always do things with mastering), but for me the overall Massakiss sound is very energetic and relentless; maybe "testosterone-filled" would be the right expression here; even though as another boring breeder I can't really tell if this sound is especially "gay" or what. Maybe this would fitting material for such German labels as Bpitchcontrol, Lasergun Recordings or the innovatively-named Shitkatapult (also home for Tampere's own Sami Koivikko).

So I think this stuff would be best suited for a series of 12"s, since as home listening it's quite heavy, but I know this is made for dancefloor. My own favourite so far is the over seven minutes long 'Problèmes d'Amour'; I suppose this is a remix of the Alexander Robotnick track? [Addition: No, it isn't.] I'm always a sucker for this sort of minimal, monotonous, heavy and brutal stomp beat. OK, gotta give this more listenings before further comments.

I'll listen to the new Massaccesi record later. I noticed this cardboard tent project of John's but unfortunately I can't contribute now because I don't own a digital camera. (Perhaps if I did a contribution myself there would be a lot of dead Matchbox plastic toy soldiers lying there among the tents, with all that plastic burning and melting; maybe also a couple of Barbie dolls there doing the naughty! See: Toy Holocaust.)

As a further idea I suggested to John combining the sounds of Massaccesi and Massakiss. All those cut-up & noise sounds to that testosterone disco beat: might be interesting? And how about adding also some vocal and speech samples of John and his own text snippets, perhaps in the "spoken word" style...? I'm interested in a collage of different sounds myself: dance beat will always be more interesting if there are some abstract and/or noise-y sounds there (I can't really concentrate on "pure noise" myself), and perhaps some snippets of vocals/texts to give it another dimension.

John also features on his site some new artworks of his which I also find quite nice. Somehow those make me think of Chicks on Speed's trash/recycling aesthetics but John works definitely have a specific style of their own, with comments on consumerism and politics. And this fascination with the imagery of childhood (according to kitchen sink psychology the era from which all our traumas, fears, fascinations and obsessions always derive from) is interesting: toy animals, bright colours, naivist styles, etc., but with a somehow dark, twisted edge. As John tells himself:

"Yeah, I love stuffed animals, I never stopped loving them from childhood. Actually, when I was young I had a ton of stuffed animals and I would use my parents bed and set up a little city full of them, and then have a big 'bomb' go off and throw the animals around and destroy the 'city', haha... I did a lot of crazy things with them, so I have been doing that for years."

So obviously he was into installation art very early on.


Listen to Massaccesi/Massakiss at his MySpace site

  • Massaccesi: the official site
  • Massaccesi @ Wikipedia