Hell Yeah's penultimate EP of the year comes from a suitably legendary Italian figure: Sergio Messina, whose fascinating life in music has seen him spend years on pirate radio, then pioneering the Italian hip hop scene, writing seminal albums under various names and remixing both mainstream and underground artists as well as making respected presentations about online porn, working as a music writer, designing and implementing a three year Sound Design course for IED in Milan as well as teaching at the same institution.
His wild life is matched by his wild music, which next year will come in the form of a new album, Sensual Musicology, but before that he presents four tracks from it. Two are written by him, one by Maurice Ravel in 1928 and one by Alberto Domínguez in 1940, and all have been played on a variety of instruments including acoustic, electric and resonator guitars, percussion, ukulele and a Roland TR66 Drum Machine.
"While writing the album, I wasn't sure what genre of music I was making. At first I thought it must be some kind of odd Country with Jazz and Blues, but then it turned out to be something else so I figured maybe it could be Music for Uplifting Gormandizers, from the full name of legendary New York club CBGB. I'm still open about the genre."
Opener 'Round Robin' (Altura Mix) is folky balearic with gorgeously lilting acoustic guitars and wispy synths. 'Bolero' has epic prog chords reframed in a downtempo acoustic bliss and drums so lazy they lull you into a dream-state. 'Altamira Shuffle (part 1 & 2)' brings new perspective the blues, with shimmering organ chords, playful leads and dust bowl strumming all repurposed as gentle seaside sounds. Last of all, 'Perfidia' is a delightful lullaby for a spring day walk. It's filled with musical joy and beauty and will melt your heart.
This is the most brilliantly unusual music you will hear all year, period.