[reviews] afe049cd
gerstein: here comes sickness

iem []
webzine, russia, december 2003

Gerstein is the long time running and still active project of italian musician Maurizio Pustianaz. In the beginning, he produced only tapes in very limited editions, so Gerstein remained little known for some years until the first LP "Sucker" was released, on the famous Ain Soph own label Misty Circles.

Defiantly entitled but masterfully recorded, it showed us the decadent and lyrical side of Maurizio, who was singing sincere songs with a dead-beat voice, accompanied by piano chords and plain rhythm-box.

Frankly, I have to wonder many times how different Gerstein's approach can be, and the next album, released on a 3" CD as a split with Sshe Retina Stimulants ("Harakiri For Seven Strings"), was a real thunder, because it used only terrible guitar noise as the base of heavily distorted collages of collapsing brainwaves (do you believe there are songs again?). Personally I still hardly can accept it in any musical aspects.

The second and the last one, full-length CD "St. Anthony's Fire" was released by Discordia in 1998 - again very different from all we just can expect. It's very cinematographic and integrated work, expanded with a huge dynamic range, sending you to the hell of western life but not forgetting to give a brave little hope. Again lots of guitars and samples, so I liked it very much and was waiting for continuation.

But as the fates decree, Gerstein disappeared from the musical horizons for five years. During that time, Maurizio was involved in music production and "Chain D.L.K." magazine publication work.

Only in 2003, he came back with the nice idea of a rare and unreleased tracks compilation, so here it is! The album starts from more obscure semi-acoustic tracks, crude vintage recordings of hard improvisation, noisy and controverse outtakes.

As far as time goes further, the years are counting like the minutes, the music become more subtle, clear, computerized, rhythmic - following the path of Maurizio's new project Noisebrigade, exploring the shapes of techno-grooves and sampling capabilities.

All in all, this fine retrospective is the best choice for those who want to complete their impression on the whole Gerstein work, but also for beginners not familiar with the band at all.

Maurizio is planning to re-release his old remastered tapes and is also preparing a new album recorded in collaboration with Cold Cluster.