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Over the years, we’ve written a lot about the visionary artist, Walter Maioli, many times, highlighting an increasing number of reissue and archival releases that explore the many dimensions of his multifaceted body of work. A central architect of Italy’s singular movement of musical Minimalism, for more than half a century Maioli’s output has remained a constant source of inspiration and awe, entirely carving its own path, while establishing unexpected ties between the ancient world and others that are yet to be seen. Back in 2021, the Rome based imprint Villa Lontana Records - focused on archival and unreleased material from the electronic avant-garde and contemporary sound-art scene - issued “Il Suono delle Api / La Vibrazione del Cosmo”, a brand-new album by Maioli, that immediately captured our hearts and mind. Then, last year brought is the release of “Shortwave Encounters”, the culmination of his longstanding research into extraterrestrial sounds and radio communications. Now, launching into 2024, they return with a stunning first ever reissue of “Javakade 8485”, a holy grail in the artist’s catalog made with his long-time collaborator, Fred Gales, originally issued on cassette by the Dutch imprint, Sound Reporters, in 1985. An astounding gesture of musique concrète that is, effectively, the sister release to Maioli and Gales’ collaboration with Pit Piccinelli, “Amazonia 6891”, issued the following year on the same label, this first time reissue of “Javakade 8485” is released in two very special editions: a cassette edition that perfectly reproduces the original release, and a vinyl edition with a brand new, unique cover design. Absolutely essential for any fan of Maioli, Gales, field recording, musique concrète, and radical approaches to sonority at large.

A pioneer in every sense of the word, there is arguably no figure in the history of 20th and 21st century Italian music more fascinating and important than artist, researcher, flutist, and composer Walter Maioli. For roughly 50 years, he has forged a singular path, bridging ancient forms of music - spanning numerous cultures - with a visionary, experimental imagining of what the future might be.

Maioli first emerged onto the scene during the early 1970s as a member of the seminal outfit Aktuala. Founded with his wife Laura and soon joined by a remarkable cast of rotating members - Lino Capra Vaccina, Antonio Cerantola, Daniele Cavallanti, Marjon Klok, Otto Corrado, and Trilok Gurtu - the band, while living and playing communally, pioneered a hybrid idiom that joined the sounds of various ancient musics and indigenous traditions from across the globe, with decidedly avant-garde and experimental temperaments, fostered within the contexts of folk and rock & roll. As the '70s and '80s wore on, Maioli split his efforts between numerous musical ventures, founding equally important projects like Futuro Antico, Amazonia 6891, and Gruppo Afro Mediterraneo, as well as delving into a fascinating world of research into the sources and instrumentation of ancient and prehistoric music, developing a singular approach to experimental archeology and musicology.

Among Maioli’s most interesting collaborators during the 1980s was the avant-grade ethnomusicologist Fred Gales, an obscure figure in the history of recorded music. Other than a single release under his own name, “Het Jakoba Prieel” - issued by Sound Reporters in 1986 and reissued by Black Sweat in 2019, as well as his work with Maioli on the “Ethnoelectronics” and “Amazonia 6891” releases (both also issued by Sound Reporters in 1986 and later reissued by Black Sweat) his name only appears as the hand behind recordings which appear on the Musicworks complication, “Phenomenascapes”, from 1988, and two stunning albums comprised of his recordings of the traditional music of Thailand, issued by PAN in the late '90s and early 2000’s. Beyond that, very little is known about him.

Javakade 8485”, almost entirely unobtainable since its original release in 1985, belongs to roughly the same conceptual framework as Gales’ “Het Jakoba Prieel”, and his work with Maioli released on “Ethnoelectronics” and “Amazonia 6891”. Described as a “collage of music and sounds recorded at the 'End of the World' and its direct environment in Amsterdam in 1984 and 1985”, the album is unquestionably far more complex in its source material, comprising field recordings of natural and industrialised environments and numerous cultural traditions of music, found broadcast sounds, spoken word, fragments of punk gigs, bubbling electronics, animal sounds, and a great deal more.

A quintessential work of musique concrète, “Javakade 8485” deploys its largely unprocessed material elements with perfect equity, making no claim to their individual importance or loyalty to the recognisability of their respective sources and references, culminating as a remarkably organic form of sound collage that reimagines the terms of how we perceive and understand the basic framework of musicality. Across the albums two sides, woven tapestries of sonority merge, flow, and bubble, tracing a razor's edge between abstraction and imagistic clarity.

Brilliant, deeply engaging, and feeling unquestionably groundbreaking even when encountered nearly 40 years after its original release, Walter Maioli and Fred Gales’ “Javakade 8485”, out of print for decades, reemerges as one of the great missing links in the puzzle of releases the pair made for Sound Reporters during the mid 1980s. This beautiful, first time reissue from Villa Lontana Records is available in two very special editions: a cassette that perfectly reproduces the original release, and a vinyl with a brand new, unique cover design. Monumental and impossible to recommend enough!

Details
Cat. number: VLR005
Year: 2024