“The rule of fear becomes concrete in the moment you accept it and you are aware that what cares[sic] you more is what seems to you more common, more normal. The fear of the unknown is an irrational answer to the excess of imagination; but the daily fear, the fear of the stranger lying in wait, of the noise of steps on the stairs, the fear of a violent death is more disquieting, and real as the consciousness that it could also happen to you. There is nothing more real than reality.
WE PERFORM REALITY”
–Jormungand, Fragments of a Hologram Rose, inlay
Jormungand is a quite unknown dark synth/electronic group from Italy, who have released two albums, Fragments of a Hologram Rose and Action Direct. Fragments being released in 1996, quite late I think for this type of music, on the German label MFW, a sublabel of the label Cat’s Heaven which in turn is a sublabel of Vuz Records. The rabbit hole goes deep… Their second release being self released and without a year is a bit harder to track. Jormungand consists of Laura Agerli, Tiziana Vallero, Giorgio Pilon, Roberto Melle, and Massimo Basil. None of them seem to been in any other music projects, at least that are featured on Discogs.
The music on Fragments of a Hologram Rose is very nice and dark and dismal. They have a unique sound quality, well produced but with a very analogue exploitation film sound. Some might say it’s reminiscent of bands like Die Form, but I would disagree. Die Form is more like a sleazy vampire flick, Jormungand is more a dystopic sci-fi film.
They are very sparse with lyrics, saving them for some proclamations about death, destruction and perversion, you know typical stuff. Side A starts with a long instrumental track Portrait of a Serial Killer, repetitious, moody and, yet familiar. It slows down even more for The End is Now, where Giorgio steps in to read us some apocalyptic revelations. Still keeping a full melodious sound but at Black Death and Perversion they take on a more harsh, cold, sound to give the tracks a more heavier feel. While not going totally into noise territory, they manage to capture some of it’s essence. Afterwards, they dial it back to the more melodious, rhythmic sound with various samples integrated. Their composition is really nice!
Side B is more laid back and darker, and the track The Land of Hypocrisy sounds soo familiar to me, yet I can’t put my finger on which song it sounds like… The drums and the melody is so haunting! Just like the cover. What is that? Where is it from? According to the inlay-slip it was taken by Tiziana, and it seems to be a photo of a tv-screen playing some exploitation film, or possibly a porn scene, a very kinky porn scene from the looks of it.
The case surprised me in another way than just the cover, it is a hard black plastic case which snaps shut. Just like the old cases for Sega Genesis games. Really solid and heavy duty, and this is the first time I’ve seen this type of case for a audio cassette. Why aren’t more band using these?
So yeah, fantastic underground Italian dark synth on a mysterious German label. Get it if you can! Might spotlight more releases from Vuz Records and it’s sublabels if I get my hands on them.