Tuscan Castle And Country Seat is a perplexingly odd record. Very odd indeed. Originally recorded in 1974 by Marco Melchiori with the intention that the resultant music would be used by the Italian broadcasting company RAI as background music. It’s difficult to imagine what kind of weird, acid soaked radio or television production it would actually complement. Strangely housed in a sleeve which functionally depicts mundane photographs of Tuscan villas, it has all the hallmarks of an ill conceived estate agency marketing scam. Straddling the boundaries between progressive rock, noise, minimalism and avant-rock this recording is a dream zone, outsider punk improv masterpiece. The opening track, “White Gladiator” rides the wave of dark moog modulation and utilises a blunted guitar riff Sterling Morrison would be proud of writing. The sound is rhythmically repetitive with both drum and guitar forming an isochronous groove which is intermittently punctuated by fluctuating electronics and soaring freakout organ oscillations. I can’t remember the last time I heard such 'out there' guitar-amp-action. “Old Colours” is fleetingly impressionistic, comprising of a murmuring detuned piano which hovers somewhere between elegiac beauty and dark mournful disintegration, part Eric Satie, part hallucinatory Kosmische electronic meditation. Side two opens with “Green Water” which heralds the 'dumbest' guitar riff I’ve ever heard which combines the heavy proto punk of Detroit raw power with the cyclical phase and pattern of classical downtown New York minimalism. Weird gear indeed. Underneath this blunted riff fest, lo-fi drug haze electronic oscillations drift loose, oozing brain fuzz on the floor. It’s hard to believe this music was actually recorded in 1974 let alone intended to be used as stock music for Italian television programmes. Likewise, “Vision Of Shore” is an epic, zoned electronic/guitar improvisational space jam. Howling electronic pulses ebb and flow as dark nebulous sustained guitar chords resonate in cosmogonic sound pools. The effect is both immersive and curiously beautiful. More oddly, the last track, “City Sound Perspective” is strangely reminiscent of a mutated Swell Maps out take, with lopsided, clipped, art house guitar weaving around a simple drum loop which unexpectedly metamorphoses into a strange amalgam of Bo Diddley-esque syncopation, raucous garage and wigged out electronic modulation. Outsider freak rock never sounded so good. This is a stunningly unique and perplexing recording, don't sleep.
"Tuscan Castle And Country Seat" by Musica Di Teisco is out now on Roundtable in a limited run of 500.