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VAZZ/LA BAMBOLA DEL DR. CALIGARI - Whisper Not/The Wrong Holiday

Forced Nostalgia

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"The Forced Nostalgia label continues to expand and inform with the release of this split release featuring 1980s outfits Vazz and La Bambola Del Dr. Caligari. The A-side features six tracks from Glasgows Vazz, a duo consisting of Anna Howson and Hugh Small. Whisper Not was recorded at the legendary Hellfire Club in Glasgow in 1982 and was eventually released on limited edition cassette, before the band were signed up to appear on the 2LP compilation Antelopes & Alligators on Operation Twilight -- a sub-label of Belgium's infamous Les Disques Du Cr_ɬ©puscules. For one reason or another, the compilation never materialized -- but the reference to Cr_ɬ©puscules should give you some idea of where Vazz figure in the scheme of things. Whisper Not really is an astonishing collection of tracks -- a small but perfectly-formed companion-piece of sorts to Antena's Camino Del Sol (which appeared in the same year), with Anna Howson's distinctive voice accompanying guitars, bass, drum machine, percussion and the Casio MT-30 keyboard -- a classic configuration. But what set Vazz apart from their contemporaries is Hugh Smalls forward-thinking production signatures -- something thats most evident on Cast Reflections" -- the standout track on this mesmerizing set. The way the drum machine and guitar have been treated and compressed sounds like something from The Cures Faith album reworked in a current electronic studio -- its just a profoundly beautiful and affecting piece. It really is hard to believe that these tracks have languished in the archives until now. The B-side features Italys La Bambola Del Dr. Caligari and five tracks recorded between 1983 and 1986. The band were a short-lived minimal synth trio from Bologna, Italy, consisting of the exotically named Judy Asquith (voice), Aurelium Spitty (sound engineer, synth, drum machines, effects) and J.R. Ewing (keyboards, effects). They recorded their first demo tape in early 1984 and sporadically played live in 1985/1986, eventually arranging the soundtrack for an installation at the art gallery Number Zero (Bologna) in Feb. 1986. Several self-produced tapes were recorded over the years but were never properly released. In 2005, Roberto Napoli mastered all the recordings from the analog tapes and kindly assisted in editing the selections made by Forced Nostalgia. The result features some of the finest lost-and-found musical gems from the 80s gloom-pop era, finally available for public consumption 25 years after they were recorded. 500 copies only, cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin." - Forced Nostalgia

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