♫♪  Stromboli - “Waving”

Regarding the name — Stromboli is actually Italian (from Bologna), so probably stromboli has a totally different connotation there than it does here in this land of boxed mac ‘n cheese that I call home. Regarding the music — holy ravioli! Stromboli, apparently one man armed with only a lap steel guitar, an organ, and a tape machine, manages to take that sparse setup to some seriously psychedelic and enchanting destinations.

At once sinister, hypnotic, meditative, and mysterious, “Waving” is composed largely of elements which in other musical contexts might go unnoticed. Stromboli inverts the typical formula by relegating the beat, when one does appear, to the background, and bringing the texture(s) front and center, adding and subtracting them, juxtaposing them against each other and combining them in alchemical fashion.

A number of strategies other than moonlight are employed to entice this night-blooming flower to open itself. Touches of lap steel guitar are used for textural rather than melodic purposes, organs lurk in the shadows, the drum thuds inexorably as the telltale heart, and single percussive hits echo rhythmically into the void, like rattlesnakes slithering towards a victim. The way these very diverse elements hold together so seamlessly is the track’s triumph, and it’s all made a thousand times heavier by its refusal to ever let the build reach an overt climax.

The once booming drone genre seems to have taken a sharp dive in popularity in the past eight-ish years, due in large part to the influx of bros on the scene to whom it was never made clear that there was in fact more to it than holding out one chord on a synth for a really long time, and an audience too nice to call them out on it. Fortunately the dust from that era is beginning to settle, and this track makes me excited to see what new directions drone can and will take in the coming years.

Check the Maple Death Records (gotta be an homage to Napalm Death??) website where you can pre-order the six-track full album, mastered by Ensemble Economique’s Brian Pyle. Buon Appetito!

• Maple Death Records: http://www.mapledeathrecords.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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