AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Capricorni Pneumatici – Nibbas (1989/2022; Eighth Tower Records)

Capricorni Pneumatici was a prototype electroacoustic / ambient effort that began in the mid 1980s and was still a going concern as of a few years ago. Nibbas is a cassette release from 1989 recently reissued by Eighth Tower Records.

The music is tempered and gritty with a great deal of variety on the micro level while maintaining a fairly consistent level of activity and volume. The underlying sources include field recordings of natural and human-made sounds, as well as synth and vocal elements. The recordings are more heavily employed on the first three tracks (which appeared on side A of the tape), while the final three tracks (which appeared on side B of the tape) are more focused on layers of synth.

Regarding the former, the 9-plus minute title track hisses and shimmers as if backward masked. Passages are relatively quiet yet busily structured in a fashion mildly resembling post-industrial clangs and booming. Heavily processed voices are interspersed with clicks and pops, though might not be recognized as having human origin.

Regarding the latter, L’enfantement de la mort also clocks in at just over 9 minutes, but is constructed from sweeping textures, waves, and oscillations centered around a repeating pattern of 5-7 notes. Eventually, this pattern is drowned out by chords, drones, and walls of sound before making a reprise in a different form toward the end of the track.

Once again, Eighth Tower has dug up an experimental gem from the past. This release is one that is not just relevant for purposes of nostalgia but also for how it uncannily predicted the future directions of a genre that did not exist at the time.