VITAL WEEKLY (Holland) - September 2014
The experience of being totally flabbergasted by a piece of music is an experience I always hope for but happens not very often. With NINSHUBAR - a Sumerian goddess - it happened. It left me completely disoriented and impressed at the same time. Feeling that I witnessed something very special, but not being able to identify what it is. Beyond known categories. Well, calm down a bit, you might think. But I’m with both feet on the ground while writing these lines. Again, what a records this is!
First I was attracted by the name of Catherine Jauniaux, who was involved in Marc Hollander’s Aksak Maboul in the 80s. Together with Monica Demuru she supplies the vocals for this work. Hasse Poulsen plays guitar and Riccio himself drums and percussion, plus laptops, ‘hybrizided rhythmicity’ and ‘organic sound mosaics’.
Alessio Riccio originates from Florence, started as a drummer and developed himself also in the world of electronics. He released several albums between 2000 and 2003. Then a period of ten year silence followed. With NINSHUBAR he breaks the silence with a tornado of sounds, noises, in a megalomaniac audiowork. ‘Megalomaniac’ has a negative connotation, but please erase that here. This electroacoustic work combines progressive rock and electronics in an impressive way. How to describe this work more specific? It is psychodrama, audioplay, a multi-dimensional electro-acoustical soundwork. Sometimes rock, sometimes jazz, contemporary music, easy listening, but whatever style one may identify it is from beginning to end something completely else.
The work is divided into 18 small units, but the work comes to you as one massive whole taking about 66 minutes. This music is so incredibly rich. So much detail in the sounds. So many movements, little gestures, colours, etc. Riccio lists also indirect performers, from Aphex Twin to Frank Zappa. He uses samples of them I suppose. In all its complexity there is also much drama in this music of theatrical proportions. There is truly blood streaming through the veins here. An essential record! [DM]
Original review here.