Casa del Mirto - 1979 | Album Review | By Volume

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Casa del Mirto - 1979

Casa del Mirto


A coherent and calming ode to steady pop and summer beats.

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Author: on March 22, 2012
Mashhh! Records
January 15, 2011

The in thing this year seems to lie in ’90s revivalism, particularly in the shoegaze/dream-pop realm of music – last year’s Wild Nothing is probably one of the better recent examples, and 2011 has given us a horde of other bands and projects replicating the washed out and melancholic sounds of the past. Some reviewers – including myself – have accused bands riding this wave of lacking innovation or originality, which is not untrue. What we sometimes fail to realise is that there really isn’t much else one can do to a shoegaze record without it becoming something else entirely.

However, one thing I have noticed across records over the last few years is that some of the musicians who would otherwise be considered electronic artists have been making crossroads in and out of shoegaze and dream -pop, creating what some people call chillwave. It’s not an entirely new label, but it does well to describe downtempo electronic music with tones of blissful exuberance. As much as I love dream-pop and shoegaze, I can’t say that I’m entirely comfortable with reinterpretating elements from those styles within an electronic context, but Casa del Mirto could very well be a turning point for me.

Casa del Mirto is the project of Marco Ricci, an Italian artist who has been recording under the moniker for several years. 1979 is his first LP, and it has unfortunately been largely ignored (it was released in January 2011 – point made). The record is awash with catchy summer beats, steady tempos and pop sensibilities, making it ideal for hot, idle afternoons. Balance is important when it comes to this sort of thing, and Ricci has definitely found the right midpoint between a pop record and a piece of atmospheric music.

What is perhaps most striking about 1979, as an electronic record, is how coherent it is when taken as a whole. Some songs are naturally better than others, but this is an album that I have only ever listened to from start to finish. It does not overstay its welcome, and offers enough variety to maintain its appeal over its playing time. If the genre of chillwave is in your interests, 1979 should not be missed. If you’re the type of person who’s gushing over the new M83 record or still haven’t realised the crock that is Animal Collective, shut the fuck up and listen to Casa del Mirto.

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