Knowingly, ironically pretentious, yet serious with it, ‘Forma’ is the result of years of daily Facebook chats between the London and Athens-based artists where they cemented the album’s concept around key quotes by the legendary poet/philosophers, who hail from their respective homelands of Italy and Greece. The results are in effect a spellbinding attempt to transmute those notions within the collaborative, contemporary framework of their music, using patented palettes of hardware, vocals, and FX to render and reflect core classical mythological and philosophical ideas about drama, love, metaphysics, cosmology and the “unity of opposites”.
On this timeless plane, Natalizia and Papadatos both step outside of themselves to find “what opposes unites”, spaciously consolidating their typical, yet contrasting, rhythm-driven approaches in a reverberant, often beatless sphere of exploration. Removed from their usual handrails, the artists operate at their most open-ended and subtly suggestive, amorphously shapeshifting from gloaming shadowplays of synth and keys to investigate arcane percussive impulses and iridescent ambient whorls.
The result is a perfect, finely shaded marriage of their mutually esoteric, outsider Southern European energies, which intuitively acknowledges and inhabits the paradoxes of their respective styles. The illusively static yet mercurial ebb and flow of the atmospheric intro ‘Fallite fallentes’ sets the scene, where ‘Dum loquor, hora fugit’ invokes a viscous but brittle tangle of wide bass and pointillist rhythms beside a stately cello vignette ‘Ludicrum’ that recalls aspects of Scott Walker’s mystic charm ’Soused’. The rapid arps and slow moving, glassy pads of ‘Pauper ubique iacet’ conjure a sublime tension that becomes diffused into the cavernous, hollow dub dread of ‘Ut ameris, amabilis esto’, possessed with its throaty, processed vocal, and the lonely strings and plasmic electronics of ‘Forma bonum fragile est’ connotes a psychedelic coming-to-terms with their artistic/philosophic duality.