gioco bambino - reviews

de:bug [05/2000]
mit gameboy zu produzieren ist ja schon eine weile en vogue, aber dass, wenn klangstabil das tun, etwas anderes rauskommt als nur lustige spielemelodien, oder zumindest eine andere vision von spiel, war eigentlich schon klar. so beginnen sie auch mit einem, fuer diese verhaeltnisse unvorstellbar, darken track in symphonischem minimalismus. selbst die tracks die schon eher so klingen wie man sich einen gameboy vorstellt, haben eine schwere melancholische stimmung, so als ginge es immer nur um die am liebsten endlos ausgedehnte zeit kurz vor game over, in der man nun die prinzessin rettet oder nicht, und in der der kleine kasten seine psychedelischen qualitaeten des monoton rudimentaeren miniaturwelt voll ausleben kann. 12 tracks in voller laenge, die einem das herz aus der seele reissen koennen, kurz bevor das leben bis zum neustart endgueltig vorbei ist. wer sich an ihre boehm lp erinnert, der wird wissen wie gut klangstabil mit obskurem equipment unerhoertes produzieren, und genau das tun sie hier auch wieder. selten hat man sich so auf den gameboy konzentriert und weniger auf das image von kleinen niedlichen figuerchen die auf ihm in den paar pixeln muehevoll rumhoppeln. [bleed *****]

groove [07/2000]
gioco bambino heisst auf italienisch gameboy und damit ist ueber die aktuelle cd der beiden schwaben maurizio blanco und boris may schon eine ganze menge ausgesagt. "gioco bambino" wurde ausschliesslich mit einem gameboy, einer gameboy-kamera als "minimalmischpult" und ein paar effekten in einem rutsch aufgenommen. herausgekommen sind dabei 12 tracks, die mit einer betont monotonistischen sicht, der klangstabil-typischen affinitaet zu den dunklen seiten der elektronik und nicht zu vernachlaessigendem laermfaktor zu bemerkenswert beunruhigenden ergebnissen fuehren ("un testardo rumoroso", "tartaruga intelligente"). die konsequenz, mit der hier ein selbstbeschraenkendes konzept auseinander differenziert wird, zollt respekt und bewunderung ab. ausserdem wurde es auch zeit, den gameboy aus dem umfeld der niedlichen kulleraugen-aesthetik einmal radikal zu emanzipieren. jd

new empire [07/2000]
behind this italian word hides one of the famoust electronic toys of the last decade: the nintendo game-boy. but why should name a band it's album like this? the answer: because they made their music with this game-boy! yor don't believe it? it's true! the whole album - like the lp sprite storage format - was done with a game-boy and an additional camera cartridge. nothing else. so i hear you say now: how can this be interesting music then? well. i say, it's the most interesting and best album of klangstabil ever. its a crazy idea and a crazy sound, but it's good! we know klangstabil als sound-artists, experimenting with sounds of any kind and often presenting us pieces of sound that cannot be described as music anymore (5 minuten klangstabil). but this time, klangstabil goes almost pop. :-)) the tracks on the album are well structured and the listener is even able do define several sound-patterns and repeating structures you maybe could call a chorus. the beats are often straight forward and mixed up with sampled and looped sequences from game-boy-game-soundtracks. of course a track like "azione" reminds me of the golden commodore c-64-times and you feel like playing tetris or space invaders when you listen to the music, but thats only one part of the album. the tracks are not childish but really powerful and interesting. the track "mostro" for example is still a typical klangstabil-track with its confusing sounds and the whirling tunes driving you mad, but you would never think that a game-boy is the source of this music. if you want to hear something really unheared before, if you like klangstabil and if you are open for real musical experiments, then buy this album. and yeah - it's a cd this time!

ouk [07/2000]
gameboy abuse part 2 aus dem hause megahertz. nachdem die kultspielkonsole bereits als einziger soundlieferant fuer sprite storage format diente, wurde dieses verfahren nun bei gioco bambino wiederholt. das ergebnis ist das, was man inzwischen mit typisch klangstabil zwar umschreiben, aber nur schwer definieren kann. klangstabil hat seine eigene nische irgendwo zwischen experimental-elektronik, noise und ambient gefunden, was ihnen im verlauf der letzten jahre weltweit eine eigenwillige und buntgemischte fangemeinde und, nicht zuletzt aufgrund der vollkommen abgefahrenen liveauftritte, kultstatus bescherte. gioco bambino ist musik fuer liebhaber, menschen, die sich die zeit nehmen, eine platte von vorne bis hinten durchzuhoeren und vor allem menschen, die nicht in festgefahrenen strukturen denken.
][ motik

re:mote induction [07/2000]
despite the fat that sprite storage format was released before gioco bambino this work actually predates that release. while they share a similar design work and source sprite storage format was a more playful release as a whole - with the greater length of gioco bambino allowing more experimentation and a definite feel of klangstabil. this 12 track release is released by plate lunch, in association with klangstabil's own mega hertz label - coming in a minimal white digi pack this release is limited to 1000 copies. pronto luigi eases in with an electronic motion, its pixellated resolution betraying the game boy source. the melody loops with a playful regularity reminiscent of sprite storage format, while a blocky analogue rhythm builds on that surface. there is a sense of babbling as all the layers build up, the whole tinged with an element of hyped mania. initially suggestive of a platform games rigid motions, we then have a melody added to azione. one which mutates with easy cycles, forming an enjoyable upbeat fun-fair feel. within which blocks blurt elements of subdued glitch beats. saltimbocca pulses in, looping on one layer for a bit. then a second, more pinpoint sound is added, a cue for a third sound. which is similar to the second but with slight contrast. while the pulse gamefully develops as the rate of falling blocks accelerates. again playful, but in a more focused manner. as it progresses the more fleeting sounds mix with the sustained pulses and there is an increased intensity, though it remains tuneful. straight into the tune of piccola bambina, the sound is quieter as it loops through its cycle. the sound level creeps up with the addition of a second complimentary layer, the mild glitches soon giving way to these stronger bassy organ pulses. static builds percussive lines, blunt crackles through the whole. as with a couple of tracks there is perhaps a sense of organ or accordian, something more imposing than a game boy as source of these sounds. moving into a more experimental territory we have the sluggish intro to un testardo rumoroso. the familiar lines of blipping code slowed down while a more solid beat plays out. static builds, suggestive of a background ferocity - gathering into raw spikes of discharge. if this was a game then you are not winning - the bricks are piling higher and that pursuing sprite is too close for comfort. from the burst of un testardo rumoroso's conclusion we have the layered glitching of la farfalla potente. these build on the surface to an analog melody, though more subtle elements remain glitched beneath. there is an element of the playfulness in the melody, but it is more abrupt. building to a loop and echo cycle that equates with a sense of triumph. the static is delivered in sheets beneath the foreground; its variation causing different levels of accentuation. about 3 minutes there is some particularly fine interplay of elements - pulling off experiments on some of the earlier ideas. building up to a hybrid of blipping-fizziness with an ecstatic energy. a rumble of the constituent elements of tartaruga intelligente and we are into a potentially fiercer territory. higher pitched lines fall into place like rainy pattering. layers thicken in a dense manner, occasionally clearing for playful jangles or hard techno pulses (thunking bass motions). mostro continues in the same vein as tartaruga intelligente. though its components are thicker in their blocky motions. hard waves build crunchy rhythms, swirling in a stormy bass mass of sounds. the blocks like bolts from black clouds, while a fizzing element becomes a stinging rain. mostro just continues to increase its sense of hardness without actually being that fierce. at least till the 5 minute mark where it approaches a buzzing wall of noise and bristling mutation. amicizia eases in with glitch form, accompanied by a rounded, metallic pulse-beat. in the depth of the sound a near silent siren loops in its high pitched detail. the pulse-beat is replaced by a subdued thumping beat, acting beneath the meandering surface. there is a sense that this is a more minimal piece, stripped down to allow concentration on the elements. shifts and additions occur, but seem minor in the greater scheme of this piece. the sense of minimalism continues in the looping blip, burble of il pidocchio allegro, beneath which the pixel playfulness is a palpable suggestion. the suggestion builds a static definition - the glitches and blip beats playing off each other. for me there is a certain fascination in this construction, which is retained even when it builds into a more audible territory. electronic motions layer quickly in un´ asino orgoglioso, mild clashes and conflicts. the mass not quite gelling while a tapping beat travels through its core. working up an agitation, edgy but not outright hostile. static builds up, waves peaking in loops till it builds in walls of potential noise, through which a droning can be heard. the final piece due guerrieri corragiosi seems to be a corruption of the earlier pieces. working in the same form, but knocked off kilter, staggering and perhaps intoxicated. while the edges of a breakdown blacken the world around the core. systems fizz and spark, streaks going off in all directions. blocky, pulsing collapse. gioco bambino shifts us through a pixellated game boy journey. playful and joyful to start, reminiscent of sprite storage format. then progressively embodies the experimentation of klangstabil - shifting through tests. trying out minimalism and variations, mixing with noise and disruption. through which there is a lot of good material, and frankly a wealth of excellence. normally when listening to something i'll try and keep track of those tracks which are the best - unfortunately on this occasion i lost track of that, but the pieces i have noted include pronto luigi, azione, saltimbocca, amicizia and un´ asino orgoglioso.

the wire [08/2000]
it's a simple enough brief: to record an album's worth of tracks using only a nintendo gameboy and some effects appliances, with no overdubs. it's not clear why maurizio blanco and boris may set themselves this task, but these overtly synthetic, demonically insistent and manically arpeggiated riffs have a certain boggling charm. drawing on techno, funk and disco vocabularies, klangstabil's insane tunes in short looped sequences take their tinkling drones and rude bleeps and force them into grainy and muddy overdrive. "tartaruga intelligente" stretches belief: metalheadz imbibing large doses of helium. simple marching rhythms give the tracks a childish pomp and pertness, while the sounds that pocket games have developed to register emotions such as suprise and victory form a semi-recognisable expressive vocabulary. if lo-tech equipment could produce its own folk music, it might sound like this.

othermusic.com [09/2000]
one of those 'less is more' or a 'they did this using that?' propositions. germany's klangstabil (maurizio blanco and boris may) recorded "gioco bambino" using only the sounds made on a nintendo gameboy and the camera cartridge that attaches to it. no overdubs, nothing. just gameboy to dat. and, as you would expect, it's ridiculously fun, mindless loops of chirps, chips and 'kch' sounds over rotating, somewhat sad melodies. it's mesmerizing, and the repetition implies overtones beyond what's there, casting out sounds that shrink and ascend about a room (this is much better not on headphones). it's very basic, but pure. i've never even touched a gameboy, but now that i hear what they can do, i want to play, too. [re]

seven [10/2000]
born out of spark of conceptualism, nurtured in the atmosphere of plain old fun, generously fed with experimentation and creativity, this album evolved to become quite a character. i have already gotten used to the haywire electronics of the duo, so the sound of "gioco bambino" was not a surprise. more surprising was the media used. a gameboy has served as a sound (and probably inspiration) source for this release. this bizarre reincarnation of the simple toy, a strange mix of playful yet dangerously sharp and mechanized sounds is an interesting concept open for many interpretations. the atmosphere of this release is constantly changing – from warm analog bubble bath to almost power electronics-inspired static collages, from isolated minimal pan sonic sounding experimentations to almost melodic rich textures. looped low-fi analog bleeps, rhythmic pulses, plenty of elongated atonal lines open the cd. heavier percussion drones appear for a few seconds, darker abrasive slides give way to pure analog bliss. behind hurting splinters and protruding spikes there’s depth and certain volatile mood that is hard to capture in words. the music is playful, very mechanized and flowery, strangely rich considering the primitivism of building blocks. with every song being completely unexpected, it is not chaotic, nor it is overly pretentious. out of steadily repeating loops and small, cut-up, crunchy noises rises warm and fuzzy, almost melodic mass that could spark colorful memories of funk, glamorous 80s, or experimental avant-garde of idm. all of those would be just a momentary image that is swept away the very next moment by almost menacing heavy drop of percussion on "tartaruga intelligente" or abrasive mass of corroded static on "un testardo rumoroso." the video game theme that seems to be the first and the most apparent one never occurs to me; this release is too rich and unexpected to fit within the boundaries of a predefined character and plot developments of a game. the album appears to be vivid documentary of a world of toys abandoned and evolving on their own, intriguing, playing, exploring the isolated microcosm around them, carefully extending their reach. they are playful yet often concealing bold curiosity and at times even threatening force behind the friendly mask. the outcome of each little episode in their lives is unpredictable, leaving it up to the listener to interpret the resulting music theme. i am not sure if my perception of klangstabil’s music has changed since i have heard their earlier material, but this release is indeed the richest and most interesting work they have done to date in the genre of experimental electronic music.

recycleyourears.com [03/2001]
"gioco bambino" is one of the experimentations with electronic sounds klangstabil have become famous for. this is, for example, their talked about cd recorded only with sounds coming from a gameboy. no other source were added, and just some effects were used, as well as a rather heavy editing and sequencing. i guess that almost everybody has already heard the high-pitched simple sounds that a gameboy can produce, but then, klangstabil like noise, and they have treated theses sounds so that a lot of them ends up with crunchy edges, distortion, and noisy parts. apart from that, everything is here to remind you of video games: the short, dynamic tones, the bubble-gum melodies (it's rather interesting to see how they can end up sounding like some idm experimentation) and the repetition over and over of the same patterns. "giocco bambino" is a cd that must have taken a long time to write, since the tracks are rather various and the number of sounds used is impressive. it seems also that the two musicians of klangstabil must have had some fun producing it, not only because they must have had to play with their gameboys for hours, but also because the dark, sometimes oppressive aspect of their usual music is to be found only on some tracks on this album (on "mostro", for example). the majority of the pieces to be found here are lighter, tricking the listener into imagining what game the sound come from. but, on the long run, this is still music made with videogames sounds, and it doesn't always go far enough to have you forget what you're listening to. the textures and tones with which klangstabil worked here are very limited, whatever the number of sounds they have used, and i got the feeling, after listening to this cd, that there can not be many differences between tracks made by following this concept (and it reminded me a lot of the video-games influenced "micro_superstarz" compilation). i think the first half of the cd is a bit too repetitive and close to the original sounds, whereas, after "un testardo rumoroso", things get more interesting with, for example, the interesting spatial "amicizia" or the rhythmic and atonal "il pidocchio allegro". overall, "gioco bambino" reveals itself far more in these tracks than in the first ones, more disposable. overall, "gioco bambino" fits well in the rest of the klangstabil's discography, and is a conceptual and experimental album like anybody should expect to find from these guys. the tracks are well done, but i don't consider this cd to be coherent enough, half of its content being really far better than the other half. anyway, a treat for lovers of conceptual albums, klangstabil-style.

françois couture - all-music guide [05/2001]
With "Gioco Bambino", the electronics duo Klangstabil (Maurizio Blanco and Boris May) took the idea behind its LP "Sprite Storage Format" and pushed it further. All the music heard on this CD comes from the bowels of a Nintendo Gameboy (which translates to "Gioco Bambino" in Italian). An additional Gameboy Camera cartridge was used as a crude mixing desk. On a few tracks, the toy is hooked to extra electronic equipment, but that's it. Everything happens in real-time: no overdubs, no post-production treatments. Results are astonishing and very entertaining. Fans of Klangstabil will find this music closer to pop than usual -- it seems the video game sounds inspired some cheerful childish tunes. But the more one moves forward into the CD, the more distorted the sounds and the more abstract the strucures, leading to cutting-edge tracks like "Mostro" and "Il Pidocchio Allegro." The previous LP featured a proto-version of this project, recorded in one night and immediately released. "Gioco Bambino" is the result of eight months of work. A total of 20 tracks were created, the best 12 were chosen to appear on the CD. Klangstabil performed an impressive act of tightrope walking between challenging sound sculpture and entertaining low-tech electronica. Try to identify the sounds from your favorite games, it's a lot of fun.

gaze into a gloom magazine [09/2001]
such were the sound tracks of first 2d computer games, indeed! by the way, it is the whole genre of electronic music. and klangstabil have pulled this genre out - such a forgotten and primitive sounding - and used it as the basic and sole material for "gioco bambino". the most computer album - in the most direct sense.

hardcore-concept.com [10/2001]
ils arrivent... et ils ne sont pas contents... non, je ne parle pas de la prochaine invasion de petites créatures mauves venues de véga, mais des allumés de chez klangstabil, qui viennent de produire l'un des cds les plus syphonnés de l'année (rudement talonnés par kid606 et snog). quand on sait qu'un vulgaire gameboy a servi de source sonore pour l'enregistrement de "gioco bambino", il y a déja de quoi s'inquiéter. mais le résultat dépasse les plus folles spéculations... sous l'influence maléfique des deux apprentis-sorciers, le tendre compagnon de jeu de notre enfance se transforme en véritable engin du diable: les skrrrtch, bliiip, krzzzzt et autres borborygmes analogiques, savamment triturés et amplifiés, se dévoilent enfin sous leur véritable nature, déployant a la longue une violence psychologique insoupçonnée. au final, subsiste l'émotion pure codée en mode binaire, allant de l'indicible angoisse que génere le défilement continuel des plates-formes jusqu'a l'amere beauté des 5 dernieres secondes précédant le game over, quand toute l'âme du monde hurle sa rage derriere ce petit écran de 16 pixels... notons que klangstabil a récemment publié sur ant-zen "sprite storage format", un lp basé sur le meme concept, qui, bien que moins abouti dans l'ensemble, n'est pas dénué de charme. l'idée en soi est toutefois moins révolutionnaire qu'il n'y paraît, puisque alec empire a sorti il y a quelques années "nintendo teenage robots", premier album a ma connaissance composé entierement a partir d'un gameboy (ps: si quelqu'un cherche a s'en débarasser, je suis preneur).

cesium impact [01/2002]
après le super album "straftat gegen das leben" sorti en 1997 sur david records à peu d'exemplaires (épuisé !), voici le nouvel album de nos 2 compères de klangstabil, maurizio blanco & boris may, petits génies touche à tout de l'expérimentation en tout genre. cet album en est d'ailleurs la meilleure preuve. sorti sous leur propre label mhz, "gioco bambino" ne ressemble à rien que vous ayez déjà entendu, puisque ces 12 morceaux sont quasiment entièrement enregistrés à partir de sons nintendo de la petite gameboy ! une expérimentation très risquée car vraiment difficile à réaliser. un objet minimaliste à l'extrème, bien que rythmé & extravagant, à ne pas laisser entre toutes les mains ; mais sûrement aussi l'expérience sonore la plus intéressante de cette décennie. de toute façon, klangstabil n'a jamais laissé indifférent, soit vous les aimez soit vous les détestez, à vous de choisir. un must, pour oreilles averties, uniquement!

auf abwegen [02/2002]
hauptsaechlich mit einem nintendo gameboy haben klangstabil das album gioco bambino eingespielt. es entspannen sich ruettelnde rhythmen aus zunaechst noch niedlich scheinenden quaeksounds. wenn jedoch der ball erst einmal ins rollen geraten ist, gibt es kein halten mehr. fulminant! zipo

anbase [11/2002]
if you can recollect the shuffles of kid icarus as he is avoiding the eggplant wizard's transmutating purple plops, or the pinwheeling of luigi's legs circa '90 in a pale imitation of midnight express-era giorgio's golden moustachio godhead of steps, then these game boy-crafted tracks by maurizio blanco and boris may might be for you. it all hinges on whether the conjuring of post-4am button-bludgeoning thumb trauma (of the classic 6th grade severity) brings either fondness or cringing, all for the same bleeping reason. (andy beta)

rotor [09/2005]
otra edición del sello plate lunch a punto de descatalogarse. klangstabil han publicado durante los últimos años en diversos sellos tanto electrónicos como industriales (ant-zen por ejemplo). este disco consiste en una exploración de las posibilidades de la gameboy como instrumento electrónico, y utiliza casi exclusivamente los sonidos generados por esta consola infantil de juegos. doce temas que parecen versiones perversas y ruidistas de melodías infantiles, generando secuencias repetitivas e hipnóticas próximas al techno más experimental.