Gig Report: Schonwald @ Mattatoio


Here we are, back again, with another gig report. Luckily enough, I avoided the 2 am one, but I am pretty sure memory is going to be kind enough not to trick me. Sunday 22nd January I was at Mattatoio, Carpi (Modena). The venue itself is a pub/indie club idea, quite small, quite relaxed (maybe a bit too much, audience-wise), but the most important aspect it that it introduces quite interesting indie acts – Italians and international bands as well. Last Sunday the night was organised by Youthless Fanzine to promote Schonwald’s new EP ‘Mercurial’.

The happy hour was entertained by a welcome back gig for Schonwald, locals of Mattatoio, electronic, noise, post punk and new wave all together. The duo is composed of Luca Bandini and Alessandra Gismondi, quite well known musicians, part of several Italian projects such as Pitch.

They are quite chatty, polite and friendly, really nice people to talk to, but when onstage the music takes it over; the lack of interaction is not a negative point though, it just emphasizes the pseudo-religiously reverential atmosphere. Alessandra plays the bass guitar while Luca focused on guitar, drum machine and synth, drawing on tunes from the 80s, The Cure and Joy Division included. Introducing a new bunch of vibes, focusing mainly on reverberation (both of the instruments and Alessandra’s voice), they recall dreams, an oneiric dimension, shaped by the voice’s sound more than the lyrics themselves. It is not a surprise that this band is really appreciated in Berlin, where their gigs are always crammed with people, bringing the concert experience to another level.

Highly appreciated were also the Dadaist and Surrealist images, black and white frames and clips, which were shown in the background. Unusual, maybe still a bit too much for the Italian scene unfortunately, but really fascinating, reminding me of the Cat’s Eye experience on the churches performance and solemn tunes. Just better, far better. Watch Dali and the surrealist ‘Un Chien Andalou,  then try to visualize the emotions it conveyed. That is more or less my reaction to Schonwald’s sound.

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