Klondike, the solo album by Marco Degli Esposti, is out on October 6th 2018, in art La Notte delle Streghe. Advertised as “A minimal and intense record to tell about our time, precariousness and escape from a permanent place“.
[PR] The album, like the previous EP Storie di Via Togliatti, puts the song with its words at the center of his speech: for this reason the music is thin. La Notte delle Streghe is a minimal impact singer-songwriter whose strength lies in the texts written by Marco around personal and important themes.
In every word we read the desire to dig deep into our time and the feelings that animate it. Klondike’s search for gold is just a metaphor to tell about the escape from a permanent place, the search for something that is not known, so it is always worth giving up everything and starting again from scratch. The precariousness, the desire for the unknown, but also to return home are the main themes of an album with existential tones.
One speaks of love for one’s own land and the compulsion to leave it, of generational comparisons between children and parents, the immensity of the universe, in its cosmic void, the annihilation of thought, also touching the fear of growing old and loneliness .
Already a member of the Cranchi project, The Great Northern x and Art of Wind, Marco Degli Esposti, with eight tracks of Klondike wants to tell our time, made of happiness and defeats in the world of precariousness; the desire to start again is the one that in 2017 has pushed Marco to leave his job after six years: this is the driving force of an album that talks about returning home and the hopes and consequences that the transition periods of life bring with self.
The disc produced and recorded by Stefano Bortoli at the Falegnameria Studio di Pegognaga (MN), also sees the participation of Elena Pagliani (bass), Diego Mantovani (drums) and Antonette Goroch (Voce).
I received the record by Marco Degli Esposti (Alias “The Night of the Witches”) for a review. I arrived with a “press-kit” with photos and a short presentation for the press. I was uncertain whether to read the presentation before or after listening. I read it first. I had never done it. Intentions, we read, would be the texts at the center of the disk and the themes of emigration, travel, escape, precariousness and escape from the fixed place and the search for adventure … as if emigrating to survive was equivalent to give up a definite and “safe” life to seek adventure. Not good, the reading of the presentation has vaguely indisposed, better to listen and reset any preconception. I will listen to the lyrics with one ear, with the other attentive to the production curated by Stefano Bortoli, guitarist. (Francesco D’Amico)
Let’s start right from the production. This is not a “super-production” but it is still good. The intention and the reference to indie rock and its clichés, its sounds, its atmospheres are evident. We are there, even if not perfectly focused in the mix, the sounds are good, even if not exceptional .. This sounds almost like a real record, like a folk-indie-rock record. Only that … you do not understand the words. The voice in the mix is bassine, perhaps. Just for the style, far from the neomelodico that demands the voice silhouetted well above the instrumental level, it is “inside” the mix but he sighs, does not sing, the doubling of the voice, the effects, the mix, the sighs, all these elements contribute to placing the voice and above all the text in the background compared to the general atmospheres of the pieces.
Atmospheres are well “painted” with acidic and warm sounds at the same time, average slow or going times, no point enrgica or deviation in punk territory nor much less disco-pop. The record is all played, no sequences, computers, no electronics. The guitars are all beautiful, acoustic and electric, well thought out, well intertwined, well played and well done; batteries maybe a bit ‘too present and dry but good. The bass, a bit ‘anonymous, but there is not heard, so it’s fine, essential and minimal, supports well without ever coming to the fore. The pulling air is quite dark, wintery, nostalgic. None of the songs offers melodic themes vaguely winking or catchy. There is no refrain in mind, a riff, a slogan, a melodic or verbal phrase, nothing. It is absolutely not said that it is a defect, the disk flows well. When it ends, however, does not leave you serene, remains a magone, a knot in the throat made of nostalgia and a kind of sweet and vague despair.
The sore point of the disc remains the voice. Mind you, it is not bad at all if we understand it as an “instrument”, as a color, as a timbric element that effectively contributes to creating the gerald atmosphere of the disc. Acid, suffering, longed-out, slightly out of tune, often doubled, it becomes effective in rendering the dark atmospheres described above. But the words are not understood.
Just because of the weight that in the presentation is given to the texts I tried to listen (re-listen) the disc “pointing” the text. Imposing myself not to be distracted by guitars, atmospheres, I just wanted to follow the words but you can not. Probably with the attached texts you could read it would have been easier and I would not have commented like that.
The continuous sighs, the continuous and never set aside “sub-voice” stamp becomes unnerving if you try to follow the text. In what I hear the lyrics flow well too. Poetically there are no holes or sudden strokes, but not even poetic tips, not even that “stomach punch” that you would expect to receive from discs with this atmosphere. However, everything seems to flow light and coherent. You can follow individual phrases, some images, some verses in full. Difficult to grasp the sense of an entire song, it is very difficult to listen to the story told. Perhaps a small correction in the mix or perhaps a less exasperated sighing voice would have solved it all. Atmospheres are there, writing seems good, sounds almost. But let’s say that if I do not have the opportunity to grasp the whole text and I do not even have a single refrain in my head to be hummed, at the end of the record, there remains little. Only that magone. Sin.
1 – Damasco
2 – Campagna di Russia
3 – Astronauta
4 – Klondike
5 – Silenzio delle Balene
6 – WAR Notturno
7 – Rionero
8 – Canzone d’addio
Marco Degli Esposti Biografy
La Notte delle streghe (The Night of the Witches) is the solo project by Marco Degli Esposti.
In 2015, with the release of the first EP “Storie di via Togliatti”, he began to carry around Italy a handful of songs about human rights and prostitution, freedom and love, war and peace, set and recounted in the streets of the western suburbs of Bologna.
The writing is put at the center of the song, the music is bare, minimal. The main influences are the great ones of the 90, from the God Machine to the Slint, from the Giant Sand to the Red House Painters.
Stefano Bortoli collaborated on the production of the album, during the recording and arrangement before, during the live phase, playing electric guitars and synthesizers.
Although most of the live performances are only 12-string voice and acoustic guitar on several occasions, it has been played in 4-element formation with electric guitars, bass and drums.
In the autumn of 2017 the recordings of “Klondike” begin, the new work that will come to light in the autumn of this year, in October 2018. The disc is produced and recorded by Stefano Bortoli at the Pegognaga Carpentry Studio (MN) ) although some tracks were recorded by Marco between California and Oregon in November 2017.
In addition to Marco and Stefano, they also played Elena Pagliani (bass) Diego Mantovani (drums) and Antonette Goroch (Voce).
The Klondike gold rush is a metaphor for telling our time, made of happiness and defeats in the world of precariousness, it is the escape from the fixed place, it is the search for something that is unknown, so it is always worth giving up everything and start over every time from scratch.
Although Marco will continue to play all summer long in solo version, with guitar and vocals, the record will be brought around after the release in electrical training with the whole band.
Marco Degli Esposti was born in Ferrara in August 1985. For 15 years he has been recording with many formations, since 2006 he is a permanent member of the Cranchi project (of which he is also a producer of 3 albums) and between 2007 and 2015 he has released 5 albums with the Great Northern x and Art of Wind.
In 2017 Marco has fired from his permanent position to devote himself to his music.