Nichelodeon Cinemanemico

Milan-based Nichelodeon make music to be staged and dramatically acted to. Maurizio Fasoli plays piano in a grand declamatory style. It sets up and supports Claudio Milano's quasi-operatic/quasi-choirboy vocals beautifully, lifting them up, following the narrative arc with unerring dynamic shadings. "Amanti in Guerra" explores the contradictions of an Israeli's ruminations on his state's efforts at self-protection through violence — heavy philosophical musings here. "Disegnando Cattedrali Di Cellule Pt. II" articulates the unsettling awareness that comes from questioning the duplicity of politics, a constant refrain in contemporary Berlusconi's Italy. The pieces' atmosphere and forward movement are given further depth and detail via Riccardo Di Paola's sometimes harpsichord-ish, sometimes white noise-ish synth and Francesco Zago's overdriven guitar. Intellectually stimulating, if gloomy, these are Brechtian life observations delivered dramatically in the cabaret of the listener's mind. (Independent)