The Weekend Fuzz: Banjo or Freakout

Welcome to the Fuzz this weekend!.. Or is it weekbegin? Unless you’re living the dream out in Hawaii, chances are it’s Sunday, and if that is not the case.. well then I conclude you to be some sort of time traveling doctor. On this day, in the ‘true north strong and free’, we celebrate thanksgiving; a holiday that some believe to have involved the guy on the Quaker Box and couple aboriginals eating pumpkin pie. I feel like Davey Crocket was in there somewhere.. or was it Betty Crocker? Whatever the backstory may be, we are supposed to give thanks, which translates to excessive consumption of home-made fats and starches and a feast of meats and meads. It’s like Canada’s favorite day to be American (we even watch football! shh!)

And for those of you on the other side of the ocean, you might be familiar with a London-based gentleman who records under the name “Banjo or Freakout”. Alessio Natalizia of Vasto, Italy, is just the sort of guy you’d imagine making music in his bedroom, and his soul seems to bleed on every slow-burner he spindles. Natalizia is undoubtedly passionate about music, a peek at his personal blog will tell you he spends a fair bit of time exploring music, tampering in the experimental and digging up old ‘Italian post punk’ (which by all accounts is an eclectic taste).

I’ve had one of his songs on my iPod for two and a half years, and it had quietly became a favorite.

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Banjo or Freakout – Go Ahead

Banjo or Freakout has had a small treasure trove of releases, including three dreamy Christmas albums absolutely sopping in tender feelings, and a self-titled album that came out a few years back. The latter is chock full of ambient riffs and synths, as well as Natalizia’s signature intimacy. Songs “105”, “Idiot Rain” and the aforementioned “Go Ahead” shine like rubies. The album as a whole feels subtly overwhelming. The kind of music that creeps in to your soul the more you let it drip in to your veins. It seems like an honest man’s effort from a true music aficionado, I highly suggest heading over to his bandcamp and giving it a full-hearted listen.

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Banjo or Freakout – 105

I think the most appealing aspects of BoF is the idea that they might always be yours. Natalizia seems perfectly content nestled between your headphones and obscurity, where he can make beautiful music without the vague abstractions of reality. Maybe the only person who understands you is your cat? And yes, your cat is a person. We both know this.

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Banjo or Freakout – Upside Down

Or perhaps Natalizia understands you too..? You can’t entirely be sure, but if ‘Banjo or Freakout’ manages to strike you at the right time in the right frame of mind, it’ll send you spinning in to cyclone of self-awareness and emotion. All the ingredients needed are a heavy set of speakers and a view of the stars. It can get haunting at times, but Banjo’s self titled is a spiral of feels, a universe inviting you to join, and i’ll be giving thanks for some mellow jams this crisp and colorful weekend.

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Banjo or Freakout – Idiot Rain


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