Psyche - Cumbia MahareLABEL: Four Flies
Drop a needle on Psyché's debut double-sider – the debut album is out on May 19th – and you'll see visions, or rather Mediterranean visions, be they of waves of heat shimmering above dunes of sand, or of women dancing around a bonfire on a rocky plain, or of bushy cliffs overlooking emerald-green and turquoise sea. The name Psyché is of course ancient Greek for 'soul' or 'mind',signifying the band's love of psychedelic funk, but also the wide range of Mediterranean influences – from Southern Europe to the Balkan Peninsula, and from Anatolia to the Maghreb – that provide an endless source of inspiration for their hypnotic sound and minimalist style.
Psyché members Marcello Giannini (Guru, Nu Genea, Slivovitz), Andrea De Fazio (Parbleu, Nu Genea, Funkin Machine) and Paolo Petrella (Nu Genea) have been active in the Naples music scene for almost two decades, most notably during the first wave of the new Neapolitan Power movement (Slivovitz, Revenaz Quartet). Over the years they have often crossed paths and collaborated on side projects in various genres (math-rock duo Arduo and, more recently, Italo-disco duo Fratelli Malibu), before working together as the rhythm section of Nu Genea's live band. Following their first tour with Nu Genea in 2018, they started Psyché with the intent of exploring more minimalist styles and making musicwith just a few elements.
A unique combination of psychedelia, groove and improvisation, the music of Psyché goes back to the roots of our future; it evokes visions of a mythical past, blending centuries-old music traditions and mixing them with modern genres. Like a warm Mediterranean breeze, it travels across lands, seas and eras, distilling essential rhythms and cosmic pulsations.
"Cumbia Mahàre", on side A of the 7-inch, dives deep into the origins of rhythm, drawing us into the movements of an imaginary ritual dance (the term mahàre was used in Southern Italian dialects to indicate witches). Through the interplay between minimal synths and exhilarating rhythmic patterns of drums, percussion, guitar and bass, Psyché take a fresh and bold approach to contemporary afrobeat and cumbia fusion.
"Ophis", on side B, is a mesmeric blend of African, Balkan and Turkish rhythms and sounds. Ethereal vocalizations and warm, hypnotic bass lines combine with psychedelic riffs and haunting melodies on guitar to evoke ancient cultures whose spiritslithers like a snake across the dunes of a sun-scorched desert.
Available also in digital format.