Julian Cope presents Head Heritage


Released 2003 on Aorta
Reviewed by Eventyr, 06/09/2005ce

"Venezia" continues on from where Allerseelen's previous album "Neuschwabenland" left off in showcasing their new sounds and styles. Its focus is still an auster one, though not quite as southerly as Antarctica, with the gaze now directed towards the Italian city of the title, a visit to which in spring of 2000 provided the album's inspiration.

Musically, "Venezia" is more diverse than its predecessors, moving away from the conservative avant-garde style once associated with Allerseelen, and continuing the richly produced feel of "Neuschwabenland". On the one hand, there is the opening track, 'Dolce Vita', which retains something of the Allerseelen of old, with a pounding percussion-led piece over which the title is chanted; but, there is an element of funk to its time signature. On the other hand, the following 'Tanzt Die Orange' is almost trip hop in style, with nods to dub and reggae that suggest Augustus Pablo, rather than Caesar Augustus. Similarly, in other tracks, such as 'Cuore Avventuroso', it is jazz that expands the musical palette, with swing helping to give the album its warmer, Mediterranean atmosphere.

As with "Neuschwabenland", the propulsive tracks which typified the early Allerseelen sound have not been totally forsaken, and have been replaced with a variation on the theme, exemplified in 'Venedig', in which a relentless bass-heavy beat replaces the clattering metal of old, creating an impressive trance-inducing quality. Immaculately presented, like all Allerseelen releases, with artwork by Stephan Alt.



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