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MY CAT IS AN ALIEN & ENORE ZAFFIRI 'Through the magnifying glass of tomorrow'

*** by Max Schaefer, THE SQUID'S EAR (USA)

"Of the two discs presented on the most recent foray from the brothers Opalio, the first shelters two improvisation pieces with Enore Zaffiri, who handles real-time recording of reel to reel tapes, while the second sees each artist provide a video painting to their own audio excursion.

In a way, it's a natural coupling: both the Opalio brothers and Zaffiri are sensitive to the oblique and enriching relationships between wrangled space sounds and deep ambient music. The inclusion of a video component also seems a suitable extension for such an approach. Together both groups approach their instruments — electric alien guitar, glockenspiel, Tibetan bell, space toys, bodhran, and alientronics — as projectors of line, color, texture, mass, and movement. It's slow and sustained at first, as sounds open up readily, allowing space for an exploration of microtonal subtleties, murmurs, creaks, moans, ostinato warbles and sonic shadows, before resolving gracefully.

The music's star, especially on the opening clip, twenty-five minutes in all, seems a vague blur of tone color, but in fact it's hiding no small excitement in the interaction of the voice, the cut and thrust of their separateness as well as their pained rush to convergence.
In contradistinction to the first side, the closing set is more about drift and dispersal. As a whole, it's highly layered, with intersecting planes occasionally resulting in transient bursts of shrillness, clatter and agitation.

The audio-visual work contributed by My Cat Is An Alien, meanwhile, is a mutual co-penetration of these two spheres; it's a move that is mirrored by the visuals, provided solely by Roberto Opalio. Against a black backdrop, two boxes or screens stand beside each other: the left one follows a collection of twisted and bent branches arranged in the form of a human body, or, better yet, a carcass, which is dragged slowly through snow-encrusted fields while, on the other screen, random minutiae flits by at torrential speed.
To the extent that the group seeks to deform and deviate one's attention from regular ends, Zaffiri's composition may be seen as operating along similar lines. In another way, though, his visuals and reel-to-reel tapes dwell on a sort of new age level, and are less involving for it. He does give it all his own spin, however, and at times the synths and visuals transmute into a kind of sanguine fluid."

*** Vincenzo Santarcangelo, ROCKERILLA (IT)

"Un disco - un incontro, quello tra Enore Zaffiri e My Cat Is An Alien - che potrebbe benissimo rappresentare la ragion d'essere di una rubrica come Noted/UnNoted. Da un lato, il pioniere della sperimentazione elettronica italiana, l'uomo delle macchine, il musicista e il tecnico che ha passato gran parte della propria vita, e della propria carriera, in studi di fonologia - fondandone uno a Torino, lo SMET-Studio di Musica Elettronica di Torino, nel 1966 -, per poi ritirarsi a vita solitaria in un'incantevole eremo montano a pochi chilometri dai laghi di Avigliana.

Dall'altro, il duo improv più irregolare della penisola, talvolta colpevolmente snobbato in patria, un vero e proprio affare di culto nel resto del mondo. Un evento la cui notizia circolava da tempo e che, concretizzatosi in una sessione di registrazione agita presso l'Alien Zone Studio dei due Opalio, nel febbraio del 2008, trova finalmente sistemazione su supporto discografico grazie all'interessamento della Atavistic. Due lunghi brani di matrice improvvisativa e due film d'arte (uno di Roberto Opalio, l'altro di Zaffiri) per una delle collaborazioni meglio riuscite tra le tante che ormai arricchiscono il curriculum di MCIAA: l'esuberanza free del duo è come irreggimentata - nel senso migliore del termine - dal mestiere di Zaffiri, qui all'azione su un reel-to-reel tape recorder. Un disco in cui l'inconfondibile suono alieno di MCIAA si sprigiona lungo la durata di una suite bipartita in cui nulla sembra lasciato al caso."