Can we rewind four months and add ‘The Golden Path’ to our best of 2018 list? Slipped right through our fingers, this one, which is a damn shame considering how into all of Valentina Magaletti's work we've been. She’s been a transient, constant and crucial cog on the machine for so many projects and collaborations you’d be familiar with - from working with Can, Graham Lewis (in the project UUUU on Editions Mego), Tomaga and even the recent, motorik offerings of Shit & Shine and Raime.
Here she’s partnered up with Portoguese musician/sculptor Joao Pais Filipe on this project, CZN. It’s a unfettered DIY / modern classical magic carpet ride with percussive fireworks scraped from the surfaces of symbols and gongs, smelted by Filipe himself (from copper, zinc and nickel presumably). Throw in a couple of crotal bells, a buchla synth swooping in with eerie disquiet and bloozy sub bass you’ve got forty minutes of deft bliss - splayed to all corners of the Abbey Road Studios (where it was recorded by some reassuringly large-fuck-off reel-to-reel tape recorder, probably). If you’re a fan of Tomaga this is obviously worth checking but also of similar mind to Andrea Belfi’s last LP on Latency, Cera Persa. Unique to ‘The Golden Path’, you get the overwhelming sense that CZN captured their percussion in all it's lush glory with hundreds of antique room mics, making for the cosiest bedroom slipper textures while keeping you on your toes and ready for the imminent arrival with the Buchla’s Lustmord dreadnaught intensity. An octopus wielding nun-chucks and kendo sticks might be a more appropriate cover image than a spoon, but you get the point. Highest possible recommend.