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ARTIST
TITLE
Animals
FORMAT
2LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
DIAG 025LP DIAG 025LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
3/4/2016

Double LP version. London-based Italian artist Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving presents Animals, the project's most versatile album to date. It's an unruly yet emotive bender taking in dancefloor-mauling new beta and endearingly beery post-industrial synth music. Animals harnesses the wanderlust of Natalizia's spate of self-released albums and records for Ecstatic and Emotional Response but dials up the wildness, spitting out a careering sequence of tracks that feel as warped, deep-raved, and giddy as a night out in the city where they were forged. And make no mistake, although Animals occasionally bites hard at the business end of the dancefloor, this is Diagonal's most pop album yet, with Natalizia's songwriting sensibility conjuring moments of tenderness and beauty to offset the manic strobe lighting and dropping sweat. Opener "Believe" is one such moment, a twisting synth workout that bounces along over rock-ist live toms. The tie is loosened on "Head Body," as Not Waving unleashes a raging kosmic EBM showpiece that morphs across six sprawling minutes. Next up is "24," the album "hit" that delighted and destroyed dancefloors throughout 2015, with clear influences from Front 242 and Ancient Methods. The shunting "Gutsy" and whopping industrial stress-test "Work Talk" buckle down like mutant Powell cuts, whereas "I Know I Know I Know" and the thrashing EBM-pop of "Face Attack" run The Sound of Belgium (LMFLF 287CD/296LP, 2015) through a distinctly Diagonal filter, all smart edits and unruly arrangements. The great strength of Animals, though, lies in how Natalizia marries the clammy peaks of contemporary club music with oddly emotive runs into acidic Canterbury pop (as on "Tomorrow We Will Kill You") and cyborg despair (see "Punch") before the bittersweet "They Cannot Be Replaced." In short, this is Not Waving laying down some of his most sophisticated songwriting and finding an entirely appropriate home for his own distinctive sound. Animals is Diagonal's sixth artist album, following releases by Russell Haswell (including DIAG 024CD/LP, 2015), The Skull Defekts, Shit & Shine (DIAG 012CD, 2014), and Death Comet Crew (DIAG 006LP, 2013). Art by Diagonal whiz Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.