We recommend listening to new Naples while walking in the alleys of Naples ‘ historic center, around wet clothes hanging and street vendors on tiny three-wheelers
“Nuova Napoli” is a joyful homecoming. Conceived, studied and gave birth outside the house: in Berlin. Which in turn is a “place of passage”, according to Lucio Aquilina, founder of the duo Nu Guinea together with Massimo di Lena, with whom he has already shared the experiences in the name of LEM and TUFO, halfway between minimal-techno and synth-funk with IDM taces.
But let’s take a step back: Aquilina and Lena live in the German capital from 2014, the year in which she sees the light the first test of the Guinea Nu: an Ep of the same name, divided between a deep-house, funk variegations and Quartomondist colorings. Then he comes to the wheel “World Ep” (2015), in which their world-music vein joins a tribal record that stands out in the song “Exotica Dance Club”. Of 2016 is “the Tony Allen Experiments”, the third volume of the series “Afrobeat Makers”-curated by the Parisian Comet Records-in which Aquilina and Lena engage in the weaving of sumptuous jazz-funk and fusion textures that surround the drum patterns of Tony Allen (a Laconic “very good” will be the approval of the Master of Afrobeat). At that point, the two decide to set up their own personal label, NG Records, which inaugurates the catalogue with “Amore” (2017), rereading in funk mixed Latin-jazz key of the first hit of the Chrisma.
And we are finally at “Nuova Napoli”, the second title of the NG and striking example of the bond between man and topos. With the desire to tell a renewed “Neapolis”, we use a sound, so to speak, “dated”: The one that embraces the decades 70 and 80, cradle of a thousand projects including central Naples by James Senese and Franco Del Prete (both veterans of the “Showmen”) and Tullio De Piscopo Revolt Group-among the dozens of bands founded by Tullio Nazionale-which in 1976 released the Jazz-rock bomb “under E ‘ Ncoppa”. Not to mention, then, Toni Esposito from “Neapolitan red” to “the band of the Sun” and the Pino Daniele from “Terra Mia” to “Go Mo ‘”. Artists who have represented the most sanguine evolution of the Coachman prog Partenopeo, connoted by a natural theatrical vocation perpetuated by acronis such as Osanna, Front city, the bronze ballet and “lone wolves” as Alan Sorrenti, who bestowed on the World “Air” and “like an old censer at the dawn of a deserted village.”
The duo’s visceral love for this multicultural sound tradition oozes from the opening track, the homonymous “New Naples”, the jazz-funk pearl, with a sensual strabismus divergent, with an eye that looks to the past and the other pointed at a Dreamy and amorphous future, steeped in radioactive psychedelic. The voice of Fabiana Martone comes to shake the eardrums with the text of “Je Vulesse”, excerpt of the poem “Je Vulesse truvà Pace” by Eduardo De Filippo, on which of Lena and aquiline sew a whirling funk drape embellished with arabesque fusion in which the fascination is Impossible to evade. And then there is “Dddoje faces” that, between wraparound keyboards, pith of sax and Latinized atmospheres, seems to re-emerge, after 38 years, from the ladder of “black in half”.
The soft soul-funk of “Disco sole” illuminates the B side of “Nuova Napoli”, letting itself be contaminated by easy-listening influences worthy of the company “Jay Richford & Gary Stevan” and of his meteor “Feelings”. On the other hand, in the plots of “Stann fore”, the protagonist seems a little to resume the vicissitudes and the thought of “‘ O Pazzo” praised in 1979 by Pino Daniele.
In the last two tracks of the album, Martone returns to make “a voice ‘ and napule”, moving slowly between scents lo-fi in peaking Lights style and venting into the jazz-rock of “Parev’ajere”, adaptation in Neapolitan sauce by “Mr. Business” of the French Edition Spéciale.
Listening and listening to an album as rich as “Nuova Napoli”, it is not worth asking whether or not it is one of the best Italian releases of 2018. Because it is certainly among the most appreciable of the kind of the last ten years. And among the most notable of the next ten at least.