Maurizio Bianchi, Regel (Sterile, 1982, rereleased with bonus tracks EEsT, 1998)
[originally posted 22Feb2000]
Bianchi’s fourth album continues the “why is this guy considered powerelectronics?” trend, and actually goes much farther into the realm of the ambient. I mean, look, it’s two pieces entitled “Part I” and “Part II,” each over twenty minutes long. It’s gotta be either ambient or space-rock (a la mid-seventies Yes), right?
Right. Actually, it’s kind of a mixture of the two. Good for meditating upon, or letting slide into the background while writing video reviews. Regel is even more impressive when one realizes the age of “ambient” music hadn’t really appeared yet, and thus the theory could be advanced that Bianchi’s disc is actually the groundspring from which ambient sprung–he married the traditions, themes, and ideas of the space-rock crowd (while stopping short of calling his songs things like “Space Ritual,” thankfully) with the minimalism of the avant-garde composers of the day, and came up with something new and exciting. Well, perhaps “exciting” isn’t the best word for an album that works best as background music, but you get the idea.
Good, solid ambient music. Much better (and much cheaper– I got it for $6 from Malignant) than annoying nature tapes. Wonderful inner artwork from a Russian anatomy text (I assume) defaced with the MB symbol. Extra track is “Acido Prussico,” from the infamous (and, these days, extremely expensive) Neuengamme compilation on Broken Flag Records. Edgier than Regel, but was obviously chosen to accompany this disc because it’s got the same kind of minimal style as the two Regel tracks.
Highly recommended. Scoop these up, kiddies, they’re wonderful. ****
“Regel (Part One)”.