Outopsya - Fake

(2CD, 2011, 49:27/42:07, Lizard Records LIZARD CD 0080)

The tracks:
  1- Useless, Fake & Awful
  2- Engage
  3- Rays, Rays, Rays
  4- Engage (reprise)
  5- nOH
  6- Of People Will
  7- Nausia
  8- Phantom
  9- Lilies
10- My Joy
11- Insane
  1- The Word Has Been
  2- Anxious
  3- Enter The Brain
  4- Lanterns
  5- Loving You Sick (part I)
  6- Khen
  7- Virus
  8- Loving Heat
  9- Khen Khen
10- Enter The Heart
11- Loving You Sick (part II)

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One of the weirdest albums I heard lately was recorded by an Italian act called Outopsya. Their music is just as strange as their name, an acronym for 'out of psychical activity'. They started in Trento in 2003 on the initiative of Luca Vianini (guitar, vocals, synths, drums) and Evan Mazzucchi (bass, cello). Other musicians helped them over the years and the aim of the musicians involved in this project is to blend jazz, classical music, metal and prog rock with electronic sounds. After the debut album Sum (2009), they released the double album Fake in 2011 on the independent label Lizard Records.

The music on the album is rather complex; it was conceived as a soundtrack for The Phantom Of The Opera, an old American silent horror film directed in 1925 by Rupert Julian and based on a famous novel by Gaston Leroux. Because of copyright issues, Outopsya were not allowed to release the album in a package containing a DVD with this film in order to combine the music and the images. Therefore they changed it into something different, adding some vocal parts with English lyrics to make it more acceptable as an autonomous work. The album was recorded by the two aforementioned musicians with the computer as an additional 'guest musician'.

They called the album Fake to underline the dichotomy of what is true or untrue in the real life. The falsity is evoked by the electronic sounds of the computer in contrast to the sounds of the real instruments. Fake can be regarded as one piece of music lasting approximately ninety minutes. Releasing the music on a single CD wasn't possible, so they split the composition in two parts characterized by two different colours: violet for the most challenging and experimental first disc and black for the second one featuring more accessible passages.

The music on Fake is very difficult to categorize. It's just too easy to put the album aside after one listening session. However, people who want to listen to the music of these Italians and their computer friend got to have strong nerves and a stomach that can digest anything. Several times I played both discs in a row and to my surprise the music started to grow on me and I could find some structure after all! Sure I know that this won't happen to everybody, but it gave me the possibility to come up with some names and musical styles as a reference.  

On both discs you'll find a range of different sounds and styles and occasionally it even comes to proper songwriting. On the one hand you'll hear the kind of music made by The Mars Volta. The psychedelic music, the electronic noise, the industrial sounds and even the metal riffs refer to this band. On the other hand the music made by Tangerine Dream emerges; especially their early experimental days crossed my mind. The music even evoked the sixties sound of Pink Floyd, but German early krautrock bands like Can, Neu! and Cluster could have been an inspiration as well. Anyway, the music Mazzucchi and Vianini recorded is certainly very experimental.

Outopsya's music isn't every one's cup of tea; it's very demanding. While listening to Fake, I didn't feel comfortable all the time. Occasionally I even got lost and I found it difficult to find the right track again. However, being on the right track I could even enjoy the music from time to time. If you're as adventurous as I am, I would like to invite you to step into the world of Outopsya. Try to find out whether you get lost or stay on the right track!

***- Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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