Ciautistico! is the result of the collaboration between Xiu Xiu and the Italian band Larsen, out on Important Records.
The meeting was in a club of Seattle, a couple of years ago: just few seconds to understand that even if they were talking far languages, running on parallel lines, 10, 100, 1000 hidden mood-wires were building bridges between their paths. A lot of e-mails and a couple of live shows and finally just 11 days to create and register “Ciautistico!”, just a single intense crazy session, just the duration of an inaccurate number of wine bottles to drink.“Ciautistico!” seems a really philologically correct title for the XXL album, because ciautistico is just a fantasy coined word from the Italian words “ciao” (hello) and “autistico” (autistic). In effect the album sounds like a greeting with smiles and hugs between two autistic persons that could often appear a little uncomunicable.
This collaboration has the merit of driving the Jamie Stewart’s urge of communication to a more blind landing place and at least for a while quieting both bands unquiet moods in a ritual drinking that mixes in a single bottle of wine the grapes of the mutated-synth-orchestrated pop from the Xiu Xiu vineyard, with the grapes of minimalistic droning instrumentals and almost-techno beat by Larsen vineyard.
XXL - Live @ Teatro Juvarra - Torino (Italy) - May 12, 2005
© bobmoz.com 2005
The incipit of the album, “Paw paw paw paw paw paw paw”, is a great orchestrated pop song with a strained and oniric synth melody that reminds to other great Xiu Xiu past episodes. Much Larsen marked is the next song, “Minnie mouseistic”, a thrilling and vibrating rolling out of discordant tones, trills and creaks that introduces us on tiptoe into their droning world, where Caralee McElroy is waiting us to recite her strange and confused monologue in a tremulous Italian. “Ciao ciautistico” seems just an intro, a rubbing and warming hands before to mould the next “(Pokey in your) Gnocchi”, the real touching point between the bands, the instant when their mouths drinking from the same cup reach to a kiss. A monotone and irreverent simple riff of guitar entwines cinematic droning sounds and orchestral chimes and bells, to weave a precious carpet that brings the Jamie’s voice to flight. “Distorted duck” is an instrumental song starting with hot and full-bodied guitar tones that evolve in a delayed melody that screw up on itself like a record that get stuck and reminds me to some atmospheres made by Italian band Massimo Volume in the early 90s before the duck of the title – a distorted sample of “quack” – invades the musical field and infects the serious mood with its jumping and rhythmic irony. “Lipstick fair” is just a glitchily fragment that introduces to a great suffering cover of the Adam Ant hit “Prince charming”; the singing blows in an emotional growing, with Jamie’s voice surfing on the higher waves of the deeper sea and shipwracking in a jubilation of atonal percussions and chimes and trills. “Birthday song” is another pretty instrumental gift, a bubbletronic pie with candles, an homage from Larsen to Xiu Xiu, The album ends with “Sunday”, an instrumental pop song again, to seal a great record, where the addition of Xiu Xiu vocals to the Larsen instrumental err counts much more than a simple sum.
Buy “Ciautistico!” @ Important Records.
Here come 3 songs from Ciautistico!
Xiu Xiu Larsen - Ciautistico ! - 01 - Paw paw paw paw paw paw paw (download mp3)
Xiu Xiu Larsen - Ciautistico ! - 03 - Ciao ciautistico (download mp3)
Xiu Xiu Larsen - Ciautistico ! - 04 - (Pokey in your) Gnocchi (download mp3)