Under lax time constraints, the London-based Italian artist has authored Not Waving’s most versatile LP to date - an unruly yet emotive bender taking in ‘floor-mauling 'New Beta' and endearingly beery post-industrial synth music.
'Animals' harnesses the wanderlust of Natalizia’s spate of self-released albums and records for Ecstatic and Emotional Response but dials up the wildness, spitting out a careering sequence of tracks that feel as warped, deep-raved and giddy as a night out in the city they were forged. These are tunes - no, songs - for post-work smash-ups, weekenders and sore commutes. And make no mistake, although 'Animals' occasionally bites hard at the business end of the ‘floor, this is Diagonal’s most POP record yet, with Natalizia’s songwriting sensibility conjuring moments of tenderness and beauty to offset the manic strobe lighting and droppin’ sweat.
Album opener 'Believe' is one such moment, a twisting synth workout that bounces along over rock-ist live toms. The tie is loosened on 'Head Body', as Not Waving unleashes a raging kosmic EBM showpiece that morphs across 6 sprawling minutes. Next up is '24' - the album ‘hit’ that’s been delighting [or destroying] dancefloors across Europe for almost a year now; here the trews are off and all - and you can see Front 242 and Ancient Methods tattooed across the artist’s butt.
The shunting 'Gutsy' and whopping industrial stress-test 'Work Talk' buckle down like mutant Powell cuts, whereas 'I Know I Know I Know' and the thrashing EBM-pop of 'Face Attack' run The Sound of Belgium through a distinctly Diagonal filter - all smart edits and unruly arrangements.
'Animals’' great strength, though, lies in how Natalizia marries the clammy peaks of contemporary club music with oddly emotive runs into acidic Canterbury pop, as on 'Tomorrow We Will Kill You', and cyborg despair - see 'Punch' - before things reach a fittingly bittersweet conclusion with 'They Cannot Be Replaced'. In short, this is Not Waving committing some of his most sophisticated songwriting to wax, and finding an entirely appropriate home for his own distinctive sound.