Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Album Review: Mamuthones by Mamuthones

Italian psych pop hero Alessio Gastaldello goes solo – with terrifying results!

Written by Rob Harris


Illustration by Bryony Crane

From Bernard Chandran’s glorious and vibrant show at The Show Space, malady no rx it was a mere moment to hot-foot it around the corner to Elliott J Frieze’s show at the Charing Cross Hotel. Now, I can’t deny that I’ve spent many an evening down the unsavoury alley at the side of this grand building, but I had assumed that it was a pretty generic, sterile hotel. It is, in fact, quite something – grand sweeping staircases and rows of rooms with Baroque decoration and plush carpets. I love this about fashion week – being able to enter buildings you didn’t know existed is a real treat.


Illustration by Jo Cheung

Ushered into a side room and handed a glass of champagne, I met up with contributor Georgia and a little later Amelia, and a charming woman led us to our seats. This wasn’t an ordinary catwalk – in one of the larger rooms a circular catwalk had been formed with the use of chairs – pretty much all front row, with models to come out at one end. It was a real shame to see seats unfilled – when a designer has put so much work into a collection (as we were about to discover) it’s pretty heartbreaking to see that people just can’t be bothered to turn up. But the arrangement meant that Amelia (sitting opposite me) and I could narcissistically take pictures of each other, which made the waiting time pass very quickly indeed!

When the first model appeared, it was a little chaotic. Racing in front of us, models took a brief pause at the end, then sprinted around the other side, then back across the front, then around the other side, returning back down the middle and occasionally colliding with the next model out. It was a nightmare to decide where to point my camera, and I left with a bit of a headache. But, it’s easy to become tired of watching models walk backwards and forwards, so to see them turning and navigating their diminutive, hot frames around a room became captivating.


Illustration by Bryony Crane

The collection started with some exciting corduroy tailoring in a natural cream colour. High-waisted trousers with enormous waistbands and double-breasted macs appeared on the ladies; for the gents the fabric had been tailored into trousers and a onesie with buckle details and an unsettling camel-toe…

Next up came luscious camel coats for both genders with a deep brown lining – the lady wore hers open as she swaggered in a floppy hat, the gent had his firmly fastened with a thick belt that synched in the waist. If I had any money, I would probably buy this.


Illustration by Jo Cheung

After a bit more chocolate tailoring, styled with chic aviator sunglasses, came the show piece – a grey multi-layer dress that swept the floor as the model walked. A definite winner, if you ask me.

Elliott finished the collection with some classic black looks – body concious dresses for women and structured tailoring for the guys. The whole aesthetic nodded to the Seventies and the women especially oozed sex appeal with figure-hugging outfits and super-chic styling.


Illustration by Bryony Crane

From Bernard Chandran’s glorious and vibrant show at The Show Space, health it was a mere moment to hot-foot it around the corner to Elliott J Frieze’s show at the Charing Cross Hotel. Now, I can’t deny that I’ve spent many an evening down the unsavoury alley at the side of this grand building, but I had assumed that it was a pretty generic, sterile hotel. It is, in fact, quite something – grand sweeping staircases and rows of rooms with Baroque decoration and plush carpets. I love this about fashion week – being able to enter buildings you didn’t know existed is a real treat.


Illustration by Jo Cheung

Ushered into a side room and handed a glass of champagne, I met up with contributor Georgia and a little later Amelia, and a charming woman led us to our seats. This wasn’t an ordinary catwalk – in one of the larger rooms a circular catwalk had been formed with the use of chairs – pretty much all front row, with models to come out at one end. It was a real shame to see seats unfilled – when a designer has put so much work into a collection (as we were about to discover) it’s pretty heartbreaking to see that people just can’t be bothered to turn up. But the arrangement meant that Amelia (sitting opposite me) and I could narcissistically take pictures of each other, which made the waiting time pass very quickly indeed!

When the first model appeared, it was a little chaotic. Racing in front of us, models took a brief pause at the end, then sprinted around the other side, then back across the front, then around the other side, returning back down the middle and occasionally colliding with the next model out. It was a nightmare to decide where to point my camera, and I left with a bit of a headache. But, it’s easy to become tired of watching models walk backwards and forwards, so to see them turning and navigating their diminutive, hot frames around a room became captivating.


Illustration by Bryony Crane

The collection started with some exciting corduroy tailoring in a natural cream colour. High-waisted trousers with enormous waistbands and double-breasted macs appeared on the ladies; for the gents the fabric had been tailored into trousers and a onesie with buckle details and an unsettling camel-toe…

Next up came luscious camel coats for both genders with a deep brown lining – the lady wore hers open as she swaggered in a floppy hat, the gent had his firmly fastened with a thick belt that synched in the waist. If I had any money, I would probably buy this.


Illustration by Jo Cheung

After a bit more chocolate tailoring, styled with chic aviator sunglasses, came the show piece – a grey multi-layer dress that swept the floor as the model walked. A definite winner, if you ask me.

Elliott finished the collection with some classic black looks – body concious dresses for women and structured tailoring for the guys. The whole aesthetic nodded to the Seventies and the women especially oozed sex appeal with figure-hugging outfits and super-chic styling.

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Jo Cheung’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!
Mamuthones front cover

Having extensively researched the subject (well, visit googled it) I’ve been able to establish that Mamuthones are pre-Christian masquerades dating back 2,000 years from Sardinia. As a musical project, Italy’s Mamuthones are no less mysterious, seeming as they do to tap into the same strand of unnerving mysticism as this ancient ritual. One thing is for sure though – any album that gives a credit in the sleeve notes for “screams and whispers” is worth a spin. Can things get any weirder? Of course they can! Further inspection of the sleeve notes reveals that one of the seven tracks, MJ74 was recorded in 1974. But wait, this is a debut album! What the bejesus is going on?

As it turns out, Mamuthones is the solo project of Alessio Gastaldello, founder of Italian psych pop mavericks Jennifer Gentle. Here he teams up with former bandmate Marco Fasolo on guitar and… 62 year old drummer Maurizio Boldrin, which is where MJ74 comes in. Boldrin actually recorded this track of monk-style chanting and cymbal chimes back in the 70s, and it’s testimony to the sheer otherwordly nature of Mamuthones’ vision that this happily sits side by side with a bunch of tracks recorded last Spring.

The Mamuthones by Ankolie
Illustration by Ankolie

So what exactly is Mamuthones’ vision? Well, be afraid, be very afraid – it takes all of the psych and none of the pop of Jennifer Gentle to create a truly foreboding mixture, where Boldrin’s pounding tribal drumbeats collide with monumental keyboard drones and, of course, whispers and screams. Tracks like Ota Benga recall the weirder end of the Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd cannon, while A New Start could be from an (admittedly brilliantly produced) transcendental meditation CD.

So you could say something for everyone then? Well yes, if everyone has just woken up from an acid trip in rural Sardinia. But seriously, if you like your music weird and wonderful (and with a bit of ritualistic chanting – let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then you’ll love this. If you like your music safe and cosy, then watch out – you’re about to be terrified.

Mamuthones is out now on Boring Machines.

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply