Marc Barreca
Palace Of Lights POL-05/3000

Warehouse find of original, sealed copies of this amazing 1980 private press underground side by Marc Barreca: Twilight has been characterised as a ‘new age synth’ private, alongside titans of the form like JD Emmanuel’s Wizards, but it feels like a fairly cursory description of the jaw-dropping range of sonics within and might have more to do with the cover art by Rosalie Barreca than the actual music. Barreca does make extensive use of synth stylings but he also uses a lot of ‘incidental’ instruments and treatments as well as guest spots for saxophone and prepared guitar.
So what is it really like? Think a low-key doom-laden Charalambides/Scorces session where they were using brokedown beatboxes ala Tolerance and dead synth tones in order to more effectively channel the sound of the American night. There are aspects of Jim Shepard/Vertical Slit’s bloodyminded basement noise, swooning sliding strings and lunar treatments that touch on Ash Ra circa Schwingungen or the Fripp/Eno jams, zoned chains and drones sections that come over like a hyper-tactile Aube before we move into the kind of interstellar sax/keyboard work that touches on the Riley/Baker flights. On the flip there are loops of haunted subliminal vocals and cries of joy slowly fed into a phasing black hole (think a more heavens-focussed Nord or even Gary Kail/Slava Ranko) while almost Ora/Mirror style field recordings vibrate in the distance. Add in some genuinely lonely synth chorales and vague, distant guitar instrumentals and the satellites are truly spinning. The final track, “Industrial Landscape”, does exactly what it says on the tin, channelling metal automata and smokescreens of heavy drone in order to birth the sound of the future. Supremely lonely, out of time, with a classic basement weirdo atmosphere and some truly malevolent instrumental stylings, this is the black nightmare sound counterpoint to Wizards and one of the off-the-map classic of the early 80s private press scene. So make your move, very highly recommended, won’t see these again!