NZIRIA, the new experimental project by artist Tullia Benedicta, debuts on Gabber Eleganza’s imprint Never Sleep with a full-length titled XXYBRID. Recorded during a period of worldwide lockdown, the album represents the artist’s psychomagic act to redeem their Neapolitan origins and to reinterpret some of the topoi of the Neapolitan culture. NZIRIA integrates the main forms and themes of the Neomelodic song, while regenerating the cis-heteronormative scenario. Through a powerful and androgynous singing, they reinterpret the stereotyped, almost archetypal stories of the Neomelodic genre, welcoming narratives of the LGBTQI+ community and singing of queer love and mercurial identities. Through the album, NZIRIA re-appropriates the Neapolitan dialect, which they learnt from their grandparents: the word itself, ‘nziria, is an almost untranslatable dialect word, indicating the obstinate and unprovoked tantrum of children when they’re tired. Neomelodic music, a genre stemming in the mid-Seventies, became a distinctive sound of Southern Italy with the voices of artists such as Nino D’Angelo and Gigi D’Alessio. Being intrinsically linked to illegal practices of divulgation, this genre narrates social collapses and emotional possessivity through hyper-sentimental lyrics and lightweight pop atmospheres, mostly enacting standardised and discriminative patterns. Hard Neomelodic is the term chosen by the artist to describe their quest, generating a sonic space in which disruptive tonalities such as those of the Neomelodic and Hardcore are combined to celebrate hybridity as an arena for unrestricted self-determination. As a non-binary artist, NZIRIA draws from their experience to tackle borderless concepts such as those of otherness, diversity and inclusivity. Their quest in metamorphosing heteronormative and discriminative narratives of Neomelodic applies to the restless battle against genre discriminations, often rooted in Western society. NZIRIA coats the vivid Neapolitan realm populated by pagan symbols, theatrical characters, chimerical figures such as that of the Femminiello, sacred effigies, hyperbolic beliefs with sophisticated sonic avant-garde, inspired by the Hardcore Gabber, Trance and Italodance 2000 tonalities which characterised their adolescent clubbing experience in Ravenna. “I tried to encapsulate in this record that small symbolic universe which, for me at least, is Neapolitan culture. Some of these images are reminiscences of my childhood, while others are things I discovered a lot later, when I decided to look back at my origins and embrace them with pride. I chose to include references to history, beliefs, traditions, to celebrate the Tarantella in a different but somehow related key, and to start the record with a magical figure, the Femminiello, because I wanted this album to be like that: hybrid, mysterious and lucky.” 1 XXYBRID shapes as a holy architecture, at times dense and visceral – as in the lovesick and nostalgic verses of Amam Ancora – at times suspended and jagged – as in the fragmented ravey crescendo of Hard Tarantella, a remake of the Neapolitan Tarantella, in which the artist included a conversation with a worshipper on the concept of faith, recorded inside a church in Naples. The sacred is one of the cornerstones of NZIRIA’s debut, being a distinctive element of Naples’ magnetism intertwining absolute reverence for Christian icons with pagan superstitions, as for the Devil in ‘ E Riavule 77, which in the Neapolitan Tombola is associated with the number 77, around which a Femminiello tells a myth. Nostalgia is another central theme of the record, best represented in Pensiero, in which this feeling of nostalgia for a loved one overlaps with the one for a place, that is also a time, a golden past painful to return to; after all, nostalgia is etymologically “pain of return”. Symbolism and spiritualism reach their peak in the final track, ‘O Dolor, conceived by NZIRIA as a moment of nirvana in which their voice, frantic arpeggios and granular synthesis reunite to then greet the listener with infinite meditative space. XXYBRID will be released on 20th May 2022 on NEVER SLEEP in vinyl and digital format.
NZIRIA – XXYBRID | LP
Breathtaking power ambient with amazing sonic & vocal experimental work. k-tip.
Waga 180 g Wymiary 12 cale