Not Waving - Good Luck
Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving rides the wave of a lifetime on his magnum opus, Good Luck. The Londonbased Italian artist’s second album for Diagonal is an emotional but fiercely optimistic LP of skewed cathartic dance pop written in the midst of these dark and uncertain times [made perhaps more uncertain by the recent birth of his first son]. It represents the most ambitious album in his own unique catalogue, a discography that features acclaimed work as part of Banjo or Freakout and Kompakt techno duo Walls — plus half a decade spent at the axis of underground electronics via his own Ecstatic label and his recent, raved-up output for Diagonal. This latest record sees Natalizia fine-tuning 20 years of recording and rave experience into a vibrant, popready statement that’s never felt so necessary. It abandons the sensitive streak hinted at on Animals, his debut LP for Diagonal, to pursue a creative hunch for concision and social unity. This new perspective drives the album’s flux of emotions and guides what some may find to be a utopian outlook, wrapping his trademark experimental urges, clever song arrangements and winking edits in a larger narrative: a new system, if you like, that offers a way out of the contemporary condition towards something pure, sweaty and wild. After all, rave ‘floors were conceived for many as a way to forget/abandon the dark undercurrents of late 80s political turmoil. Good Luck does something similar. The record is constructed as an album proper and follows a novel narrative: from the ego-pinching computer punk of Me Me Me, which jabs it into action, to the new wave thrust of Tool [I Don’t Give A Shit] and the ambient flush of Roll Along With The Pain Of It All [I’ll Text U], Natalizia clearly delights in taking us on a frenzied ride, but he never forgets his fondness for contemporary club culture [see the fulminating iridescent EBM-pop of Where Are We — with Montréalais minimal wave chanteuese Marie Davidson guesting on vocals — or the acidic punk jabs of Watch Yourself]. Good Luck is a thrillingly positive record — like a big slice of pink and blue sponge cake, it’s delicious, sweet, creamy and wonderful. And that’s the thing: even the title feels like a much-needed injection of optimism, a return to the utopian ideals of rave. Contemporary politics/culture/life/love/music/media seem to be infected by a feeling of impending dread — of fear, alienation, division. Perhaps it’s the job of artists to present an alternative vision for the world [and music] rather than simply to reflect one’s reality back into the echo chamber of their own lives. It feels like thereís never been a more important time for a record like this.