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Gatto Fritto - Gatto Fritto

International Feel Uruguay


“I didn’t want to make an album full of just dancefloor cuts”.

“We want to take the home listener on a journey”.

“It had to be something that worked as an album”.

How many interviews go like this? Correct: every single fucking one of them. So it was refreshing to read recent interviews with Gatto Fritto where he comes across as an actual human being. They also help put his self-titled debut album into some context, but even if he appeared to be an arrogant bell-end it probably wouldn’t stop Gatto Fritto sounding as good as it does.

It’s got to be said that if you are familiar with previous GF releases on Dissident and Electric Minds then the sound won’t exactly be a revelation: softly pulsing disco with an endearingly rickety finish, given a lot of room to develop over 8 meandering tracks. A new addition, to me at least, is incomprehensible falsetto vocals, which - referring back to those interviews - apparently deal with some pretty weighty subject matter: hatred, death, fear, the usual.

But apart from perhaps the titles of the first two tracks (The Curse and The Hex) you wouldn’t know this from the actual music. After all, when putting a curse on someone I tend not to get myself in the mood by getting lost in wistful melodies and gentle grooves, unless I’m planning on dooming them to spend their whole life drifting off to sleep on at beach at sunset.

Things get a little darker with the vaguely dissonant Grinding Of The Brakes, whose ominous buzzsaw bassline threatens mild peril until another perfect synth shimmers in. This is followed by a short tour of European influences - the beatless Solar Flares Burn For You sounds like a low fidelity Vangelis, Lucifer Morning Star takes the processed vocals to an extreme over an excellent slow-motion Italo backing, and the previously-released Invisible College works a seemingly endless acoustic guitar strum over 11 Krauty minutes.

However, even amongst all these gems the highlight for me was the album closer Beachy Head, which starts with an air of melancholy and builds up ecstatic walls of lambent synths, finally dropping breathlessly to a cheeky ambient coda that brought to mind more experimental Jam & Spoon releases (now that’s a compliment). It’s a fitting end to a highly recommended album that wears its references lightly, and which has a lot of sad-eyed fun while doing it. And incidentally, it’s a journey for the home listener, not just dancefloor cuts, that works as an album.
Sam Stagg



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