Music Review: Bedroom Genius

BANJO OR FREAKOUT by Banjo or Freakout (Rare Book Room)

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Banjo or Freakout, the dreampop project of Italian producer Alessio Natalizia, is the culmination of years of moonlit bedroom tune-crafting. Loops, feedback, and oddball recording techniques—capturing synthesizer riffs with a Dictaphone, for example—make the album feel lush, therapeutic, and unfamiliar: a tropical rainforest of sound. Shoegazey guitar samples, raspy percussion, and dense ambience complement Natalizia’s tender vocals—virtuosic work for a hobbyist.

Cover-165-thumbnailThis article first appeared in the May-June 2011 issue of Utne Reader.