MEZMORIZING DARK WAVE MUSIC
Kirlian Camera have been leading the revolution of electro dark wave synthpop music now for over 40 years! The Italian group are lead by Elena Alice Fossi on vocals and include Angelo Bergamini on guitar, Alessandro “Algol” Comerio on guitar, Mia Winter Wallace on bass and Jack Dravenon guitar. The band originally formed in 1980 in Parma, Italy and have included several different members over the years but continue to create a distinct sound of their own and are going strong in 2022. While the band originated in 1979 they opened to a new phase after 20 years and evolved into a deeper, darker sounding band with a new lead vocalist and have been making waves ever since.
Angelo Bergamini – The “beta version” of Kirlian Camera was originated some time ago by Italian electronic music musician Angelo Bergamini, during his passage from dark prog metal to electronic rock. The band was definitively born in January 2000, after a short stay in Paris in which Angelo Bergamini himself and a very young composer/singer – namely Elena Alice Fossi, directly coming from the entourage of Oscar-winner Ennio Morricone’s most famous singer soprano Susanna Rigacci – decided to give life to the new course of the band, whose first work “Still Air/Aria Immobile” came out a few months later. Over time, KC has expanded the lineup, which today includes bassist Mia W. Wallace (from Abbath, Nervosa, Niryth and ex-TriumphOfDeath/Hellhammer) and multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Comerio (from TriumphOfDeath/Hellhammer, Forgotten Tomb and Hiems). Many collaborations have been taking place throughout time, in the studio and on stage: Covenant’s Eskil Simonsson, Blutengel’s Ulrike Goldmann, Beauty In Chaos (incl. members of The Cure, Ministry, Mission/Sisters Of Mercy, Offspring, Cheap Trick, Ice T, etc.), John Fryer, Black Needle Noise (This Mortal Coil), :Wumpscut:, Patrick Leagas of 6 Comm/Death In June, John Murphy, Yes’s Trevor Rabin, Dive/Dirk Ivens, Illuminate, Seasurfer, Alex Fornari, etc. The band and related side projects have collected platinum and gold records over time. The latest album, released in 2021, also climbed the official German charts in recent times, reaching 19th place in the Top-100. Take it as a very short info for all those who know kinda nothing about us. Uneasy to sum up more than 40 year career…
While the first line up were making music testing the limits of synth-pop powered melodies and utilizing a powerful beat the band evolved to a darker more dangerous path as they began their journey into the 21st century. ” AB – It depends … this band has been traveling throughout several “musical eras”, being the first nucleus – the one I like to call Beta Version – born between the end of the ’70s and the beginning of the ’80s! The Beta version quit in 1999, right at the end of the millennium, and already in January 2000 it was reborn just wearing the same name, although I was sometimes tempted to change it. So we’re a group already showing 22 year career behind us plus 20 years of embryonic phase, not to mention that both Elena Alice and I have also given life to other projects such as SPECTRA*paris, Stalingrad Valkyrie, Siderartica, Uranium USSR 1972, Ordo Ecclesiae Mortis, Hipnosis, Alice Neve Fox, etc. even going to take part in several other projects, so given that Kirlian Camera has never been one of those monothematic projects (there are bands whose first album sounds very similar to the last one after decades… let’s say that music technology only – developed throughout the years – has given them a chance to appear a bit fresher, so the their first work sounds worse than the last, but the last one sounds much more boring than the first, since equalization and spatiality is the only changed factor, after all!) I can say that our current sound, which in fact sounds darker when compared to our other chapters more inclined to a sort of anomalous electronic pop, is following as always our life’s scenery and the dreams that are strictly connected to it. Illusion creates illusory mirrors all the time, in our case, and said mirrors are proving to be rather suffering and suffered. The meanders we are heading in/to at the moment are a bit part of our brand, perhaps filtered into a more disturbed key. They don’t overlook more relaxed episodes, but… if one goes to look inside, those quieter episodes reveal a very disquieting soul. Then, it’s obvious, not everyone can see the signals we’re sending off and it probably is unavoidable. If we make commercial music it’s not because we want to sell it out and if we make non-commercial music it’s not because we don’t want to sell it. Everything makes sense and has some “crazy balance” in this incredible adventure.”
Kirlian Camera’s latest release Cold Pills has taken off and charted already! According to the band on their Facebook page, stated, “Weird August 2022! Kirlian Camera’s album “Cold Pills (Scarlet Gate of Toxic Daybreak)” reappears in the German alternative charts taking the 10th position, 15 months after the release date! It formerly reached #19 in the official top-100 when it came out. This album never ceases to amaze us… at this point, we can only thank the audience supporting us, those who reward our efforts and show they appreciate our darkest and least “immediate” music pages.”
The Creative process of Cold Pills brought on an unusual type of energy and tension as compared to a horror film. EAF – “Current times really look like a bad horror movie, so since we have our antennas definitely focused on the search for real facts and unmanipulated information, it’s inevitable that our music goes to be affected by those sensations that don’t make you sleep relax fully. We have our own way of interpreting and decoding things, so we can rely on an amazing strength that makes us fight against depression and self-destruction most of the time, even though it’s equally true sooner or later we’ll be feeling a sensation of suffocation, too. It isn’t that if you’re at war you don’t get wounded when you take down an enemy: people think you’ve won and yes, maybe you’ve won a battle, but the war continues. And that enemy is structured, strong, pretentious, bullies every hour, every minute you need some little relax. Wisdom shows us many things, but sometimes goes to be combined with chemistry, and this is also what the latest released album speaks of. It isn’t that Gandhi has never used with drugs or alcohol. So everyone did, from Jesus Christ to Lucifer. What am I talking about? It isn’t I am just talking, in fact I am also pointing out a variety of paths that couldn’t even be represented in a book of a thousand pages. Who has to understand will understand and who has the necessary curiosity to raise a doubt, maybe he’ll understand too. Regarding the others, well… their universe will guide them, assuming that they’re all actually living or that, instead, like in a movie, you’re faced with protagonists, co-stars, extras and… cardboard or computer-generated holograms. I don’t think all the people we meet on the street really exist. And that’s no metaphor: I believe instead this “joke” looks rather related to physics.”
Elena Alice Fossi said, “There are various underlying causes behind the appearances of this album. Use of drugs, alcohol, life in an Orwellian universe from which it seems you cannot escape, moments of despair, panic, photographs of a stupid labyrinth created by fools for humans who never want to grow up and remain children despite the fact that children do not they can live the life of an adult, except in rare cases… Anxiety, days destroyed by conflicts that seem to tear you away from the rest of the living… All this seems to peep out here and there. Yet, beyond the grim scenario that we evoke in so many passages, there is an infinitely deep access code, which breaks through the doors of despair, and that code… well, one will have to find it, if thinks it’s worth it. In this world there are messengers and destroyers, it depends on how one can “see our music”. Only paranoia and instigation to suicide or ascent to an unknown sky (which many seem to be afraid of)…?”
EAF –” Anomaly. Many say this album sounds anomalous and strangely amalgamed at the same time, even though it’s difficult for a song to resemble another over the three discs that make the album up. We were told it’s not even clear what genre it is, but we perceive a lot of respect and esteem for us, more than ever before. Perhaps everyone was expecting a definitive step towards electronic art pop and instead… we changed the early path, unexpectedly. And just as unexpectedly, the album appeared at 19th place on the official Top-100 chart in Germany. To say that it really surprised us is an understatement!
Currently the band has more in the works. EAF – “Speaking of unexpected things… Well, we were at work on the sequel to “Cold Pills (Scarlet Gate of Toxic Daybreak)”, that’s the second chapter of what we had in mind as a kind of dark trilogy, but not even doing it on purpose we came up with a variation-on-the-theme, so we composed a limited extra-album that contains several new tracks and some reinterpretations, a bit like when we released “Shadow Mission: Held V”, so I can anticipate that a kind of LP will precede the full-length work we already announced. This will help us to definitively focus on the final touches to be added to the long album to come. This new work to be released in autumn appeared on our radars totally unexpected, but it brought a very appreciated surprise… So, it’ll be taken like a “bridge” between the past and the future! It’s a work that we do not consider as an interlocutory phase, on the contrary… in this upcoming LP we have put our heart, soul, energy, the desire not to be silent. In this regard, we’ve also included parts of a Julian Assange’s speech, because being silent is no longer possible, in the face of the facts that are now happening continuously, as if we really lived in an upside-down reality!”
There is much more to come from Kirlian Camera as they envision their future in the music world. EAF – “As far as music and creativity are concerned, I can say we’re dealing more and more with many colored solutions. Kirlian Camera are working very intensely on new “visions”, even if, as already announced, both the new LP and the new long-running album won’t drive to idyllic atmospheres! We took a bit of relaxation by recording a lot of material for SPECTRA*Paris, the slightly more glamorous project that occasionally appears between one nightmare and the next; this time the new S*P material doesn’t follow the path of the previous ones, well, not exactly, at least. Among other things, the special edition contains two “complete” albums and we’re really satisfied with such a choice, also because we’ve collaborated with many other entities, in order to offer a rich chapter, in terms of creativity and tones: from John Fryer of Black Needle Noise/This Mortal Coil (producer of Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins) to the African electro star Fakeba, Project Pitchfork, Seasurfer, John Rox & Obsydion, Alison Bergamini… With SPECTRA*Paris we’ve reconnected for a moment to slightly less gloomy climates, even though some ghosts are floating in the air even in this work, this time. Sometimes I think that if my old Side rartica project had survived, maybe it would write part of this new score that sways between dreamlike, romantic, nostalgic, certainly “noir” attitude. This new chapter has involved us a lot, also to check if we’re also suitable for impromptu adventures and raids into different areas, always safeguarding an underlying innocence, which would decree the end of our active musical journey, if missing.”
Kirlian Camera truly are dedicated not only to their own creativity and passion for making music but also to provide their ever growing popularity with fans world wide a special connection. EAF – “The people who follow us despite our many twists and turns are showing an affection that seems so special to us. Those are listeners who have stopped complaining whenever a band likes to try a different path while putting all the necessary concentration into it. I believe many of our followers us have appreciated our effort to make ourselves credible, even at the cost of difficult sacrifices to face, such as not accepting political-social conditioning from power, preferring defeat to a “earthbound” victory. They also appreciated our thirst for music, whether it’s gonna sound user-friendly or not; anyway always heart-made, because the brain must give way to the soul in order to be guided by that: the interference of brain is an obstacle, if you ask us. Better to be labeled as stupid by dumb replicants than to receive a Nobel Prize from them. There are no possible prizes, for us and for those like us, we aren’t here for that, especially since we have already got our award. It is inside us.”