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CD Feature/ Mario del Nunzio & Henrique Iwao: "Dance Music"

img  Tobias
Say “dance” and people will think of rhythm. It is a completely logical conclusion, deeply rooted in primeval DNA and fortified by “Right of Spring”, Stravinsky’s monolithic mass for the metrum. Gradually, however, parameters are changing: As the importance of sound “en soi” and its inner oscillations are being rediscovered, a new generation of composers is taking a seat behind turning tables.

Mario del Nunzio and Henrique Iwao are an integral part of this new tradition. Their “Dance Music” is less of a dictation and more of a collaborative effort with the ears and minds of listeners and performers. Rhythm establishes itself as a sequence of ideas, as a flow of fragments following up on each other with lucid and irresistible coercion.

This, of course, implies that, on a perceptional level, the groove is no longer a given. It will be different to every spectator, vary with each creative interpretation. There are barely any drums or percussions here to guide your feet, but only symbolic sequences, mantric metaphors, all waiting to be deciphered by the dancers’ bodies.

“Vermelho”, for example, Mario del Nunzio’s twelve-minute long opening piece, is a billowing and ebbing continuum of sharply splintered soundshardes culled from sources as diverse as classical choirs and a collection of underground metal records (is that a Killing Joke sample I hear?). Del Nunzio doesn’t just go wild with his library, though. He brings a distint dramaturgy to the music, which passes from an opaque and disturbingly multidirectional wake through to a haunting Dark Ambient middle section whch slowly unfolds into a nervously twitching reprise. Everything in his world is a citation and yet nothing sounds like a mere recap. It is an astutely optimistic statement with regards to music’s neverending powers of reinventing itself.

In comparison, Iwao’s contributions are shorter, more accessible, inviting and open. References to popular culture also play a role here – arguably in a more direct fashion than with his Brasilian compatriot – but they are merely intricately arranged pieces in a puzzle of confusion. Truncated snippets of Abba, Rockabily, “La Bamba”, Ricky Martin and Technotronic fly by, while a chiming melody in the foreground counterpoints the scene, flooding it with dark rays of surreal light.

In the end, however, it remains unclear whether this theme, too, is nothing but a quote. There are no longer any certainties in the world of del Nunzio and Iwao even when, as on “Down the rabbit's hole ou Pourquoi tu pleures?” the music is driven by clearly structured nocturnal Piano cataracts. The hypnoticism of traditional dance music is replaced by a distinct sense of anticipation: You can almost feel the dancers move through the fluidum of these compositions, but their exact trajectory remains a promise waiting to be fulfilled.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mario del Nunzio
Homepage: Henrique Iwao
Homepage: Clinical Archives Netlabel

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