Record of the day: Scritti Politti, "Anomie and Bonhomie"

Record of the day: Scritti Politti, “Anomie and Bonhomie”

Politti writings
Anomie and Bonhomie (Cd Virgin Cdv 2884)

Not many musicians can boast a personality as eclectic as Green Gartside, whose creativity lies behind his name
of the Scritti Politti (derived from the ironic distortion of Gramsci's “Scritti Politici”).
A musician with an unmistakable voice and notable compositional skills, Gartside has always found enormous difficulty in dealing with the world of musical show business and this has periodically led him to escape from the environment, isolating himself for very long periods (even ten years) between albums. and the other.

Stylistically the trajectory of Scritti Politti betrays the same intolerance for easy categorisations, moving from the distorted, anarchic rock of records such as “Skank Blok Bologna” and “Songs to Remember” to the sparkling and well-kept high-ranking pop/soul of famous albums such as “Cupid&Psyche” '85″ and “Provision” (which even featured Miles Davis as a guest), in which Green's voice moved on polished rhythmic carpets curated by the best American musicians under the expert eye of a historic producer like Arif Mardin.

After other long years spent in a cottage in Wales, Green came back to life in 1996 with this album where once again there was a surprising change of tone thanks to the addition of rap and hip-hop styles and the collaboration with artists such as ' Mos Def and Me'Shell Ndegéocello; at the same time several electric and flayed moments recur that take Gartside back to his recording debut, and this contamination probably led to the total commercial fiasco of the album, which at the time went completely unnoticed by a general public too busy following Kylie Minogue, Rick
Astley and all the other rubbish that clogged the Hit Parade.

Listened to again today, the album appears to be a brilliant work of synthesis between different creative influences; songs like “Umm”, “Die Alone”, “Here Come July”, “The World You Understand” hit like a kick in the stomach, releasing very violent energies where rap, soul, funk and rock mix in burning atmospheres of great excitement.
Of course Green hasn't forgotten his love for Brian Wilson's harmonies and taste for pop; songs like “Mystic Handyman” and “Born to Be” remind us of this through the complex vocal harmonies lovingly layered by the leader.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.